The Food Bank of South Jersey needs reusable bags to distribute groceries to neighbors in need, and the Burlington County Library System and Burlington County Commissioners are lending a helping hand.
Between now and Sept. 30, most Burlington County Library System branches will serve as collection sites for the Food Bank’s reusable bag campaign. The Burlington County Commissioners are also donating several boxes of new reusable bags to the nonprofit organization, which must adjust its operations to comply with New Jersey’s plastic bag ban.
The Food Bank of South Jersey is the largest hunger relief organization in South Jersey, serving residents, food pantries and other charitable organizations throughout Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties. The nonprofit group distributes more than 80,000 bags or boxes of groceries annually.
“Shoppers aren’t the only ones who need to adjust to the plastic bag ban. Organizations and food pantries like the Food Bank of South Jersey must also comply, and change how they do things,” said Burlington County Commissioner Felicia Hopson, the Board’s liaison to the Department of Human Services. “Our county plans to make a large donation of reusable bags to the campaign, but we’re also encouraging residents to help out by gathering any surplus reusable bags they haven’t used or purchasing a few extras during their next trip to a grocery store. They can bring new bags to our libraries to donate. It’s a great service that will help the Food Bank continue its critical mission.”
The Burlington County Library System branches serving as bag collection sites are Burlington County Library, 5 Pioneer Blvd., Westampton; Bordentown Library, 18 East Union St., Bordentown; Cinnaminson Library, 1619 Riverton Rd., Cinnaminson; Evesham Library, 984 Tuckerton Rd., Marlton; Maple Shade Library, 200 Stiles Ave., Maple Shade; Pemberton Library, 16 Broadway, Browns Mills and Pinelands Library, 49 Union St., Medford.
Reusable bags should be new and unused. They can be dropped off during normal library hours only.
“The Burlington County Library System was created to serve as a resource for our communities, so helping organizations like the Food Bank of South Jersey support families in need is a natural fit for our libraries,” said Burlington County Library Commission Chair Jonathan Chebra.
Burlington County Commissioner Allison Eckel said donating reusable bags was another way for county residents to help the county and Food Bank fight food insecurity. Since 2020, Burlington County has partnered with the Food Bank of South Jersey to hold regular food distributions throughout the County.
“Tackling hunger and food insecurity continues to be one of our top priorities for Burlington County and supporting the Food Bank of South Jersey is one of the methods we use. Together, we’ve distributed groceries and prepared meals to more than 16,000 residents,” Eckel said. “We want to build on this accomplishment by helping the Food Bank of South Jersey adapt to the new regulations — and we hope the community will help as well.”
State Senator Troy Singleton said the drive was a way for residents to assist the Food Bank’s mission.
“The Food Bank of South Jersey is an organization that is leading the fight against food-insecurity in our region. Donating a few extra bags is something we can all do to help them continue to provide some extra support for families who need it,” Senator Singleton said. “I commend the Burlington County Library System for stepping forward and making the branch libraries donation sites, along with the commissioners and all who contribute bags for this important cause.”