(The Center Square) – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law legislation allocating $10 million for seven food banks in New Jersey.
“Our food banks have been a critical resource for thousands of families impacted by the pandemic,” Murphy said in a news release. “Today’s necessary funding will help organizations to continue supporting New Jerseyans to put food on the table for their families.”
A-5405/S-3527 allocates $10 million to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. The money is from the Coronavirus Relief Fund under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The measure sends $5.2 million to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, $1.5 million to the Food Bank of South Jersey, $1.5 million to Fulfill Monmouth & Ocean, $1.1 million to Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, $300,000 to Norwescap, $300,000 to the Southern Regional Food Distribution Center and $100,000 to Farmers Against Hunger.
“Each day, so many New Jersey families struggle to put food on the table, and unfortunately, the pandemic has only exacerbated this problem,” state Sen. Steve Oroho said in a news release. “The hunger crisis has led even more families to depend on food banks for their survival, and we need to do whatever we can to ensure those organizations can continue to support individuals and families in need.
“Over 1.2 million people in this state now suffer from food insecurity, a staggering number that has increased substantially because of COVID-19,” Oroho added. “By lending a helping hand to large food banks, this law will help address the hunger crisis in New Jersey head-on.”
Fred Wasiak, president and CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey, previously said the money will help address an increasing “food-insecure population,” which grew from 1 in 11 residents to 1 in seven residents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.