New Jersey shares federal pandemic funding with several food banks

David Madden
July 11, 2020 - 4:00 am

    PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) Some federal pandemic money sent to New Jersey is going to several food banks across the Garden State to help them address a spike in those in need of help.

    Up to $20 million of CARES Act funding will help those agencies two of which serve South Jersey feed hundreds of thousands of people across the state.

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    Gov. Phil Murphy, who made the announcement at one food bank headquarters in Hillside, Union County, said these charities are needed now more than ever.

    “Even in good times, greater than one in 10 New Jersey families were food insecure,” he said. “In times like today however, they have taken on even greater importance as the number of families facing food insecurity has grown, unfortunately because of the effects of COVID-19.”

    The money will be doled out depending on an agency’s specific need and is likely to cover increased costs through the rest of the calendar year.

    Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) has worked for years to deal with food insecurity and suggests if you doubt there’s a need these days, just look at the record long lines where food is doled out in the name of charity.

    “Forty percent of people nowadays, both here in the state and nationally, are people who are receiving food donations for the first time.” Coughlin said. “People who were historically donors are now recipients and we can’t do enough to help alleviate their challenges.”

    New Jersey has also increased funding for what used to be food stamps, now the SNAP program, to the tune of $180 million.