The Bergen County Food Security Task Force is currently seeking volunteers and donations to assist our neighbors facing food insecurity, as numbers are at an all-time high. While food insecurity has always been an issue in Bergen County, the COVID-19 pandemic has largely emphasized it and unfortunately made numbers grow. With a total population of 930,000, the amount of food insecure adults is projected to grow from 60,790 (reported in 2018), to 103,710 by the end of 2020. Even more alarming, there are 199,410 children in Bergen County, and those who are food insecure in 2020 are projected to grow by 113% from 14,110 to 30,080 in two years.
As a member of the Bergen County Food Security Task Force, Bergen Volunteers has been able to gather over 65 volunteers who have been connected with one of Bergen County’s 82 food pantries large and small. Volunteers have been performing a range of tasks including food distribution, sorting, shelving, bagging, and transporting supplies as drivers.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the county’s food pantries have seen over a 50% increase in clients, yet supplies and monetary donations have not increased. Not to mention, within the donation of supplies, there is a huge lack of personal hygiene, cleaning, fresh produce and protein products. For especially fresh food and pre-cooked meals, pantries have relied heavily on private businesses, which have also suffered over the past few months.
In April, the Center for Food Action, Community Food Bank, the Prosecutor’s office, the Sheriff’s Office, and Fairleigh Dickinson University held a packaging event and created over 2,000 40-lbs packages for non-profit, food pantries to support clients throughout Bergen County. Just months later in June, these same organizations were able to host a walking food distribution event for 1,020 households in Fairview and Cliffside Park for those families and individuals impacted by the pandemic.
If you are interested in getting involved, click here.
For additional information, please contact Debbie Emery at firstname.lastname@example.org.