Food Bank of South Jersey sees 200% increase in need amid coronavirus pandemic

Volunteers with the Food Bank of South Jersey served more than 125 families at their “Hope Mobile” on Saturday morning.

“Everything is scarce right now, we need to provide for our families and being out of work it’s hard,” said Sherod Jones, who stopped by the mobile food pantry.

Staff and volunteers had to set up shop at a different location last minute, a lot at Carlton Avenue and Maple Avenue. Bethany Baptist Church stepped up to provide the location.

“For us, went don’t see it as an obligation, we see it as an opportunity to help,” Bishop David Evans said.

It was one small adjustment among so many others due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Volunteers wore gloves and masks and they handed out food already packaged into boxes. They asked visitors to load the boxes themselves to limit contact, as long as they were able.


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More importantly, though, they saw a greater need. 

CEO and President, Fred Wasiak, says they have seen a 200% increase in need across their 185 agencies in four counties.

“People are one paycheck away,” Wasiak said. “There’s no question about it and it’s just beginning so we’re trying to stay ahead of it.”

As cars pulled in under stressed and dire circumstances, most people left with a smile.

“Our motto this morning was this is liquid sunshine,” Wasiak said. He braved the miserable rain on Saturday to have the “Hope Mobile” go on as planned.

“The families that are still pulling up to get their food, their smiles are brightening up the place and so it's not stopping us from serving the communities we need to serve.”

If you would like to help or donate the Food Bank of South Jersey, visit their website.


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