Speaker Coughlin Champions Funding Ramp-Up for Emergency Food Distributors in FY23 State Budget
|Speaker Coughlin Champions Funding Ramp-Up for Emergency Food Distributors in FY23 State Budget
(TRENTON) – As inflation has driven up the price of food and gas, the struggle to keep food on the table persists. To better serve those in need, New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2023 State Budget (A-4402) appropriates a total of $85 million for emergency food distributors.
“Food banks have faced very high demand since 2020,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “With inflation increasing the cost of some of the most basic food items, grocery budgets are straining even more and food banks at the same time are finding it challenging to maintain their supplies as the need among communities continues.”
Over the last four years, the state budget has more than tripled its support for feeding organizations serving on the front lines of hunger. In Fiscal Year 2019, state-funded food aid totaled $5.6 million – a figure that grew to roughly $50 million by Fiscal Year 2022 in response to growing need in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As we work to expand access and participation in critical food safety net programs like SNAP, which empower longer term stability, the immediate support that our food banks provide remains crucial to ensuring no one goes hungry,” continued Coughlin.
Among the regional beneficiaries are the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the Food Bank of South Jersey, Fulfill NJ, Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, Norwescap, and the Southern Regional Food Distribution Center.
This year’s budget also includes an additional $500,000 for CUMAC, a community-informed anti-hunger organization housed in Paterson that legislators visited in May.