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Helping the Needy Survive in South Jersey

By: Cheryl Lynne Potter

Come under the umbrella and learn.

The statistics are startling. Over 196,000 people living in South Jersey are hungry, according to a study done by Feeding America, called “Map the Meal Gap,” that gives food banks an idea of what hunger looks like in their state and throughout America.

 

“We describe food insecurity as a measure of a person's uncertainty as to where their next meal may come from at any given time due to a variety of ever-changing factors,” said Lauren Hann, Senior Manager of Communications for the Food Bank of South Jersey that assists individuals in Gloucester, Camden, Burlington and Salem Counties. “Food insecurity affects seniors living on a fixed income, people facing sudden medical emergencies, parents struggling with bills, and their children who rely on school meals to get the adequate nutrition they require to lead healthy lives,” said Hann.

Children, who experience hunger, face such health risks as impaired physical and developmental growth, behavior problems, sudden mood changes, low academic achievement and learning disabilities.

Fortunately, many organizations in South Jersey are helping to dispense food to the needy. St. Paul’s ELC Food Pantry of Collingwood is affiliated with the Food Bank of South Jersey and serves individuals in need from Collingswood, Woodlynne, Oaklyn, Haddon Township, Haddonfield, Audubon and Haddon Heights. The pantry provides canned, dry and as available fresh groceries, as well as some baby food items and, if available, such personal items like razors, shaving cream, toothpaste and toothbrushes, said Alan Rodgers, Treasurer of the church’s food pantry. The pantry, which is made-up of volunteers, serves about 84 clients per week, year-round, and provides assistance to about 600 individuals per month. The pantry is open Tuesday thru Thursday, between 11am to 2pm.

“We were looking for another way to make a difference in the lives of people in our community,” said Reverend Carol Davies of Bethel United Methodist Church, located in Sewell. “There are a few food pantries in our township, but none were open on the weekends. We wanted to make food available for people who may be working during the week, or in the evenings,” said Reverend Davies. The church runs Peter’s Pantry that serves residents of Gloucester County and assists about 200 to 250 individuals per month. The pantry is open the fourth Saturday of every month from 10 am to 2 pm.

Besides distributing food to nearly 5,000 individuals each year, Kitchen of Hope at St.Thomas Episcopal Church in Glassboro, also provides weekend meals to about 40 students at Glassboro’s J. Harvey Rodgers Elementary School. “These are children who receive free school meals, but may not have anything to eat at home during the weekend, said Vivian Hanson, President of Hope, Inc. Board of Trustees. The food giveaway is the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10am to 1pm.

Donating to food banks is a “great way to give back to the community,” said Reverend Davies. “And it’s local, so it has a direct positive impact on the towns where we live.”

St. Paul's ELC Food Pantry
832 Park Avenue Collingswood, NJ 0108 (Church is on the corner of Park and Dill Avenues. Pantry entrance is through the lower red doors facing Dill Avenue) Pantry is open Tuesday and Thursday between 11 am to 2 pm. 856-854-0860. Serves individuals in need from Collingswood, Woodlynne, Oaklyn, Haddon Township, Haddonfield, Audubon and Haddon Heights.

Peter's Pantry
Bethel United Methodist Church 471 Delsea Drive Sewell, NJ 08080 Open the fourth Saturday of every month from 10 am to 2 pm. 856-589-1745. Serves residents of Gloucester County.

Kitchen of Hope
St. Thomas Episcopal Church Parish Hall (Adjacent to the church) 512 Main Street Glassboro, N J 08028 Food distribution 10 am to 1 pm, the second Saturday of every month. 856-366-8461. Serves mostly people who live in Gloucester County, but have assisted people living in Camden and Salem Counties.

Food Bank of South Jersey
“Volunteers are crucial to our operation, helping us to feed thousands of individuals on a daily basis,” said Lauren Hann, Senior Manager of Communications for the Food Bank of South Jersey that assists individuals in Gloucester, Camden, Burlington and Salem Counties. www.foodbanksj.org/donate-food/

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 19:12
 

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