Middlesex County hosts first county-wide drive-thru food distribution event,
1,500 food boxes donated through event and food pantry network
Middlesex County partners with
Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Novo Nordisk
PLAINSBORO, NJ –Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS), in conjunction with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) and with contributions from Novo Nordisk, held the County’s first ever drive-thru food distribution event, distributing 1,500 boxes of food to 1,500 families through the event and network of food pantries.
The distribution, which was held on June 27 and followed CDC and State guidelines for social distancing, allowed residents to drive-up through the distribution line to collect a box of fresh and packaged food, provided by CFBNJ, all while remaining contact-free. A crew of 125 volunteers from MCFOODS, CFBNJ, Novo Nordisk, and the County donated their time. In addition to its staff answering the call to volunteer, Novo Nordisk generously donated the use of its campus in Plainsboro and onsite support for all volunteers.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our way of lives, organizations like MCFOODS and CFBNJ have stepped up in tremendous ways, working around the clock to aid our residents in getting access to one of the most basic needs: food. The Board of Chosen Freeholders extends the greatest thanks and gratitude to MCFOODS, CFBNJ, Novo Nordisk, and our volunteers for the selfless, vital work they have been doing throughout this pandemic,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios.
The event came during a time when many New Jerseyans are experiencing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Jennifer Apostol, director of MCFOODS, compared to last year, the distribution center, which provides food to food pantries around the County, has seen an increase in the number of residents in need of food. MCFOODS saw a 79 percent increase in the amount of food distributed in March, and a 100 percent increase in April compared to last year, and a 60 percent increase in the number of pantries in the network accessing MCFOODS’ services compared to 2019. Additionally, April and May were record-breaking months for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey with each month seeing the distribution of enough food for nearly 7 million meals, the most ever provided in a single month in CFBNJ’s 45-year history.
“In these unprecedented times, it takes the collaboration of all sectors of society to ensure nutritious food for struggling families. We at CFBNJ are grateful for our partnerships with MCFOODS, Middlesex County, Novo Nordisk, and for all of the volunteers who have stepped up to help meet the basic needs of their neighbors, many of whom are struggling for the first time in their lives due to the pandemic,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
In addition to this drive-up distribution event, residents can visit a local food pantry to collect food. Those in need of food specifically within Middlesex County can visit the County website: http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/Government/Departments/mcia/Pages/Mcfoods/mcfoods.asp for a list of those pantries providing food during this time or for those throughout the state of New Jersey, they may visit cfbnj.org/findfood to locate a CFBNJ partner agency near them.
Beginning in the closet of a park police building in Roosevelt Park in Edison in 1994, MCFOODS has since expanded into a 5,000 square foot warehouse in East Brunswick. MCFOODS provides nonperishable foods and necessities to our network of over 120 partner organizations throughout the 25 towns in Middlesex County to ensure that all residents always have access to nutritionally adequate food and necessities. In the early years, MCFOODS received and distributed 92,000 pounds of nonperishable foods and necessities to about 30 partner agencies. In 2019, MCFOODS received and distributed over 2.2 million pounds of food including fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to over 130 partners. MCFOODS, which operates via the collection of food and monetary donations, collected almost 13,000 pounds of food through a contactless, socially-distanced drive-up food drive on June 6.
About the Community FoodBank of New Jersey
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), a member of Feeding America®, has been delivering food, help and hope across the state for 45 years. Last year, CFBNJ provided nutritious food for over 50 million meals through its network of more than 1,000 community partners including pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, mobile pantries, and child and senior feeding programs throughout the New Jersey counties it serves (Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union). For our hungry neighbors, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey is the powerful agent of change that fills the emptiness caused by hunger and provides resources that are essential to earning a sustainable living.
About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company that’s been making innovative medicines to help people with diabetes lead longer, healthier lives for 95 years. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people defeat other serious diseases including obesity, hemophilia and growth disorders. We remain steadfast in our conviction that the formula for lasting success is to stay focused, think long-term and do business in a financially, socially and environmentally responsible way. With U.S. headquarters in New Jersey and production and research facilities in six states, Novo Nordisk employs nearly 6,000 people throughout the country. For more information, visit novonordisk.us, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.