Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogging Out Hunger in New Jersey: We Can't Let this Bank Fail

I was asked to participate in a campaign to involve 100 bloggers in an endeavor to help blog out hunger and ask New Jersey citizens around this time of year to give a little more than usual because New Jersey Food banks supply of food is low. I am a day late, but the need is so great, I thought it important to write about.

First, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey started when the founder and executive director, Kathleen Dichiara saw a need and began giving food out of the trunk of her car in 1976. The food bank has grown dramatically and distributes over 21 million pounds of food and groceries a year, ultimately serving nearly 1,700 non-profits including 436 programs served by its Partner Distribution Organizations (PDOs).

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ)is a member of Feeding America and fights hunger and poverty by the distribution of food and grocery products, by education and training, by creating new programs to meet the needs of low-income people, and by involving all sectors of society in this battle.

We are in some of the worst economic times in this country's history, we all feel it, but the poor and the hungry feel it the most. This is always the case. The Community Food Bank of New Jersey is experiencing some real difficulty in fulfilling the needs of those who are going hungry. Requests for food at the Food Bank have gone up 30 percent, but donations are down by 25 percent. Warehouse shelves that are typically stocked with food are bare and supplies have gotten so low that, for the first time in its 25 year history, the food bank is developing a rationing mechanism. CFBNJ. See the video below.

I can speak to this dire need. This summer at Legal Services we organized a food drive for Middlesex County because every shelter and food bank in the area was experiencing huge shortages of food. We asked our colleagues to come together and organized a food drive and gave food throughout the summer. We did well, but only made a dent in what was needed. And this time of year is extra crucial. People are cold, sick and hunger feels especially lonely around the holidays. What is more this need will not subside soon, it will be with us for the foreseeable future. While our government is giving huge subsidies to big financial institutions, we forget about the people who need us the most, the hungry.

There are several ways to give. Please go to the link of the CFBNJ and locate your county or any foodbank and donate or see how you or your organization can help the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. Because, truly this is one bank we cannot allow to fail.


Anonymous said...

Very sad. The economic situation is so far reaching.

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