New Jersey Department of Agriculture Announces $10 Million Distribution for Food Banks
TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher announced today that $10 million from American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds is being distributed to emergency feeding organizations throughout the state. The funds were provided to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture through a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and will be allocated through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
The amount given to each of the six emergency feeding operations is based on the number of people they serve. They are as follows: Community Food Bank of New Jersey, $5.3 million; Food Bank of South Jersey, $1.5 million; Fulfill, $1.5 million; Mercer Street Friends, $1.1 million, NORWESCAP, $300,000, and the Southern Regional Food Distribution Center, $300,000.
“These funds come at an important time for each of the emergency feeding organizations and will allow more food insecure New Jersey residents to have access to nutritious meals,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher said. “Food banks play an essential role in providing a reliable source of food to so many communities throughout the state.”
The NJDA’s TEFAP program currently serves an average of nearly one million residents per month.
This $10 million is in addition to the $35 million allocated to food banks through the COVID Relief Fund and the moneys the State has distributed through food and hunger programs as part of the Murphy Administration’s aggressive pandemic response.
The Community Food Bank of New Jersey has locations in Hillside in Union County and Egg Harbor Township in Atlantic County, and works with a network of over 1,000 partner agencies to serve 15 of New Jersey’s 21 counties, which also include Bergen, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties; Fulfill is based in Neptune and serves Monmouth and Ocean Counties; The Food Bank of South Jersey is in Pennsauken in Camden County and also serves Burlington, Gloucester, and Salem counties; Mercer Street Friends is in Ewing in Mercer County; NORWESCAP is located in Phillipsburg in Warren County and also serves Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, and Sussex counties; The Southern Regional Food Bank is in Vineland and serves Cumberland County.
The NJDA is the distributing agency in the State of New Jersey for TEFAP, and it ensures the distribution of federally donated food throughout the state’s 21 counties. New Jersey currently receives over 20 million pounds of TEFAP foods annually from the USDA allowing the distribution of over 70 different food items to New Jersey’s eligible citizens challenged by food insecurity.
TEFAP is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including aging individuals, by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. Through TEFAP, the USDA purchases a variety of nutritious, high-quality USDA Foods, and makes those foods available to state distributing agencies. The amount of food each state receives out of the total amount of food provided in TEFAP is based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people with incomes below the poverty level in the state. States provide the food to local agencies that they have selected, usually food banks, which in turn distribute the food to local organizations, such as soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public.