HACKENSACK, N.J. – As September marks Hunger Action Month, this morning Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and Freeholder Tracy Zur, liaison to the Bergen County Food Security Task Force, along with the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, delivered about 1000 boxes of essential food items and 15,000 pounds of produce from the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
Supplies were distributed to five food pantries experiencing extremely high demand including the Triboro Food Pantry in Park Ridge, the Glen Rock Gurudwara, Christ Episcopal Church in Teaneck, NJ Food and Clothing Rescue in Little Ferry, and the Franciscan Community Development Center in Fairview. This is the kickoff of a more profound collaboration between the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and the County of Bergen.
The Bergen County Food Security Task Force, which was spearheaded by Bergen County Freeholder Tracy Zur in collaboration with the Bergen County Executive’s Office, officially launched on July 15, 2020 in response to the unprecedented increase in food insecurity in Bergen County after the onset of the pandemic. After their initial launch, the Task Force has collected data to better understand hunger in Bergen County, as well as bring key stakeholders together to develop best practices for food distribution and infrastructure development. Their initial survey showed that demand at over half of Bergen County’s food pantries has increased by 50, with some experiencing an over 200% increase since March.
“Over the course of this pandemic, the County of Bergen has brought community stakeholders from non-profits, local municipalities, and private organizations all together in an effort to respond to the needs of our residents, whether it be providing easy access to COVID-19 testing, supplying essential frontline workers with necessary PPE, or making sure our local food pantries can keep up with demand. By connecting local food banks with local food supplies, the Bergen County Food Security Task Force serves as a critical matchmaker and facilitator, strengthening the food safety net so many residents are relying on” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco.
“Food insecurity in Bergen County is real, with too many of our neighbors going hungry each day,” said Bergen County Freeholder Tracy Zur. “We all can take action to help - whether it’s donating to your local pantry, volunteering your time, or spreading the word to build awareness.”
“We are glad to be able to provide assistance to these five food pantries experiencing shortages due to the pandemic and look forward to building a broader framework for support in the future” said Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO of the Community FoodBank of NJ.
For more information about the Bergen County Food Security Task Force, contact Marisa Tugultschinow at [email protected]
Photo caption: County Executive Jim Tedesco, Freeholder Chairwoman Mary Amoroso, Freeholder Tracy Zur, Triada Stampas of Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Reverend Michelle White, and members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Community Affairs Unit at Christ Episcopal Church Food Bank in Teaneck.