According to a recently released Momouth University poll, roughly 1 in 3 Americans has felt economic pain due to loss of income as a result of COVID-19, and low-income households have been hit hardest. The staggering economic impact of the pandemic will likely cause a dramatic increase in the need for food in the days and weeks ahead.
Of the 10 New Jersey municipalities with the highest COVID-19 infection rates, 9 are in our service area: Jersey City, Newark, Teaneck, Paterson, Clifton, Elizabeth, Englewood, Bergenfield and Hackensack.
Though South Jersey has relatively few cases of COVID-19 compared to totals statewide, the economic impact in the region is significant. The shutdown of casinos and related hospitality businesses has had and will continue to have a devastating effect on the economy, particularly in Atlantic County and the surrounding area, where the casino industry supports so many residents. At our Egg Harbor Township location, demand at our on-site pantry is up by 60% and the number of emergency food boxes distributed on an average day has tripled.
In March 2020, we distributed:
- Enough food for nearly 4.8 million nutritious meals
- 6,000 emergency meal kits across 7 counties
- 2,800 Family Packs in Newark
Ongoing distribution has not stalled and we are doing everything possible to make food accessible to agency partners that need it. We are advising sites on social distancing and alternate distribution practices.
- Our partners are reporting upwards of a 50% increase in demand for food assistance at their sites.
Emergency Meal Kits, which provide 40 meals per box, enough to sustain a family for several days, are being deployed in collaboration with partners and via our South Jersey mobile pantries.
- We are currently packing a total of 850 boxes per day, enabling us to distribute the equivalent of 34,000 meals per day.
Prepared Meals are being made and packaged in our Community Kitchen, and and a grab-and-go meal option is available to Kids Cafe and summer meal program sites along with college pantries, shelters and soup kitchens.
- Distribution will include prepared meals for seniors, Meals on Wheels and other community partner organizations.
SNAP Assistance is being provided by fielding phone and email inquiries to help our neighbors understand their eligibility and then apply for SNAP benefits. These inquiries have grown exponentially in recent weeks. We are coordinating with county offices that process applications and monitoring the development of streamlined approaches that have been made possible due to this emergency.
If You Need Food
With a few exceptions, our network of more than 1,000 partner agencies and programs remains open. Click here to find a feeding program near you. We recommend calling before you go to confirm program hours and to be informed of any possible changes to their operations. Please note that given the current situation and rapidly changing environment, an agency’s ability to answer the phone may be impacted.
Many schools are providing “to-go” meals that families can pick up. Call your child’s school for more information.
If you need additional food assistance, our SNAP Outreach team can help you apply or recertify for SNAP benefits. Please call our SNAP hotline for assistance over the phone: 800-609-3663.
The New Jersey Department of Human Services announced that those who receive food assistance through SNAP will receive an extra benefit on Sunday, March 29, and that benefits will be higher in April to address critical needs during the COVID-19 crisis.
Stories From the Front Lines: Hear From Our Staff
- I’ve Never Seen Vulnerability Like This Before- Kim’s Story
- My Team is Working Around the Clock- David’s Story
- Behind the Scenes with Carlos
- The Need is Only Growing- Carlea’s Story
- A Message from One of Our Agency Partners
For Our Agency Partners
Volunteering & Events
For the health and safety of our community, we are temporarily closed to volunteers until further notice. Please check back regularly for updates.
Our annual Blue Jean Ball and Night of 300,000 Meals fundraisers have been postponed. Please check back soon for new dates and details.
How You Can Help
- Give Funds: Many of our neighbors in need are already feeling the economic impact of COVID-19, while others will find themselves struggling for the first time. Continued support is needed now more than ever. A donation of any amount helps us respond to the need.
- Stay Informed: Stay informed of any updates to our operations through our website and social media channels.
- Spread the Word: Together, we can help keep New Jersey fed, even during this time of crisis. Spread the word about CFBNJ’s mission to your friends, family, and colleagues.
- Get Your Company Involved: Your company can help raise funds for COVID-19 response and our year-round hunger relief efforts by matching employee gifts dollar-for-dollar. If you’re interested in setting up a donation page for corporate giving, please contact Evelyn Chiu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Give at Your Local Kings Store: To support our COVID-19 response efforts, Kings Food Markets has restarted our annual Check-Out Hunger campaign in all of its New Jersey stores. Give $1, $3, or $5 at the register when you shop for groceries as a convenient way to help the FoodBank provide for neighbors in need during this crisis.
**Please note that, for the health and safety of our community, CFBNJ’s Hillside location cannot accept food donations from individuals at this time. If your company or transportation service has an overage and would like to donate leftover product, please contact Gleny Herlihy at email@example.com.
**However, individual food donations are still being accepted at our Egg Harbor Township location.
- Statement from Carlos M. Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, on the FoodBank’s COVID-19 Response
- Community FoodBank of New Jersey Thanks Donors, Early Funders and Agency Partners Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak
- Press of Atlantic City: LIVE UPDATES: NJ COVID-19 cases rise to 29,895, deaths total 646
- NorthJersey.com: NJ restaurants are stepping up amid coronavirus crisis. Here’s how you can help or receive help
- TAPinto Paterson: As Coronavirus Spread Grows Boys and Girls Club Continues Service to Paterson Resident
- NJ.com: New Jersey’s food banks need our help, now more than ever | Editorial
- NJ.com: Coronavirus in N.J.: The information you need to help get through the pandemic crisis (3/30/20)
- NJTV News: Hunger in NJ: Food pantry trying to keep up during COVID-19 crisis
- News 12 New Jersey: As demand for assistance rises, New Jersey food banks do more with less
- NJ.com: How to donate and help N.J. food banks during the coronavirus pandemic
- Press of Atlantic City: Atlantic City casinos donate excess food during closing
- Press of Atlantic City: Some Atlantic City homebound seniors received free food this week
- WCBS-AM 880: Non-Profits Keep Restaurant Workers Employed, Deliver Supplies Amid COVID-19 Crisis
- CBS 3 Philly: Coronavirus In New Jersey: Hotels, Casinos Donating Excess Food To Help Ease Food Insecurity Burden
- NBC 4 New York: NJ Food Banks Open
- 6ABC Action News: Hard Rock Atlantic City donates truckloads of food amid COVID-19
- CBS 2 New York: Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Covenant House, Other Charities Keep Serving Some Of The Most Vulnerable
- New Jersey 101.5: More demand, less help? NJ food banks responding to COVID-19
- NorthJersey.com: North Jersey food pantries see trouble ahead as coronavirus job losses mount
- TAPinto Hillside: Community FoodBank of New Jersey Issues Statement on COVID-19
- New Jersey Family Magazine: Your Quarantine Guide: How to Hit the Supermarket Safely and Responsibly
- NJ.com: Food banks prep ‘crisis boxes’ for pickup to avoid crowds, but donations are down