Stamp out hunger in South Jersey

On Saturday, May 14, the Food Bank of South Jersey will ask residents to help eliminate hunger in their community by participating in Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest single-day food donation campaign, sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Local postal carriers will collect bags of non-perishable and shelf-stable items along with that day’s mail and deliver the donated food to the Food Bank of South Jersey. After sorting and boxing donations, the Food Bank will distribute the food to those in need through its network of partner agencies in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem Counties.

“It’s a short walk from your kitchen to your mailbox, but those small steps you take are part of a giant effort to help the needy, and your donation will mean so much to the people we serve,” said Val Traore, Food Bank of South Jersey CEO.

Nearly 100,000 people in South Jersey seek emergency food assistance every year. Last year, the Food Bank of South Jersey responded to more than 719,000 requests for food, distributing a total of 9.1 million pounds of food throughout the region.

“The economic downturn has hit the poor with special fury,” Traore said. “If we’re to reach our goal of distributing 12 million pounds of food this year, we can’t do it without help from the public.”

To demonstrate the widespread reach of the Food Bank of South Jersey, Traore cites Food Bank feeding programs that supply meals to children after school and on weekends; serve “family boxes” that sustain entire families for days at a time; and food distribution programs to help the elderly straddle the desolate time from mid-month when their funds run low to the next month’s receipt of social security checks.

“Many of our senior citizens are making the choice between buying food or buying needed medications,” said Traore.

By stressing the importance of donating food and the ease with which South Jersey residents can become involved, Traore hopes to alert more residents about the many ways they can help eliminate hunger in their communities, starting with Stamp Out Hunger on May 14.

“If the public knows just how serious the situation is out there, I strongly believe they’ll donate food on Saturday, May 14 and beyond.”

For details and information, please contact the Food Bank of South Jersey at 1501 John Tipton Blvd, Pennsauken, NJ. Call the Food Bank of South Jersey at 662–4884 or visit www.foodbanksj.org for more information.