‘Nobody should be hungry.” Community Food Bank continues legacy in NJ

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A community organization has been helping to keep the people of New Jersey from being hungry for the past 45 years.

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey continues to play an important role in the daily lives of those living in the Garden State, especially as the cost of living grows in New Jersey.

The organization’s warehouse in Hillside is filled with pallets of food for Thanksgiving. There is peanut butter, rice, pies and 6,000 turkeys. It will all be going to about 45 different food pantries in Essex and Bergen counties.

"Nobody in Bergen County should be hungry,” says Karen McEvoy of Helping Hands Food Pantry in Teaneck.

Most of the food in the warehouse will be gone by Tuesday. Representatives from several food banks were at the warehouse Monday to pick up food, including Circle of Life Food Pantry in Newark and GRACE’s food pantry in Summit.

"At least 25% of households in Summit experience food insecurity or what would be considered working poverty,” says GRACE representative Amanda Black.

Officials say that 900,000 New Jerseyans in 16 counties are fed by food collected by the Community Food Bank.

“Forty-five years ago, maybe 3 or 5% of families were people working. Today more than half of our families have someone that's employed,” says Community Food Bank CEO Carlos Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also notes that 51% of all jobs in the state pay less than $20 per hour.

“So, the need isn't slowing, the racks stay filled with food. We see it now because of the Thanksgiving holiday, which revolves around food. The goal is for all of us to see those in need year-round just as the Community Food Bank has done for years,” he says.

By the end of November, the Community Food Bank will have handed out 25,000 turkeys.

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