On Thursday, the Bergen County Food Security Task Force hosted its kickoff diaper distribution, providing 180,000 baby diapers and adult briefs to 38 local nonprofit organizations serving families in need. Each agency was provided with one month’s supply of diapers, and will receive direct deliveries for three additional months.
This purchase was made possible by CARES Act funding that the County of Bergen committed to fighting food insecurity caused by the pandemic. “While we have made progress in our fight against the pandemic, food insecurity and financial hardship continue to be an ongoing struggle for residents across Bergen County,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “The Bergen County Food Security Task Force remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting our local food pantries during these difficult times.”
The Bergen County Food Security Task Force was launched in July 2020 as a way for local officials and area nonprofits to collaborate in service of Bergen County residents struggling during the pandemic. The Community FoodBank of NJ (CFBNJ) is a member of the Task Force and has partnered with the County of Bergen on multiple occasions this past year to distribute thousands of meals across the County. In the past year, the County has seen an additional 43,000 individuals become food insecure – the largest surge of any county in New Jersey. The Bergen County Food Security Task Force has worked to increase overall access to nutritious food in Bergen County, as well as vital resources such as enrollment in SNAP benefits, job training, mental health counseling, and more.
Before the pandemic, 1 in 3 families lacked adequate access to diapers. Now, with COVID-19 having caused a 56% increase in food insecurity in New Jersey, buying diapers is even more of a financial burden on households. “Diapers are an essential product that can be a significant strain on a struggling family’s expenses, especially as they are not covered by SNAP benefits” said Commissioner Vice Chair Tracy Silna Zur. “The Food Security Task Force has stepped up to provide 1.4 million diapers across Bergen County over the next several months to alleviate this burden so families can allocate their funds to purchasing fresh foods.”
“The latest initiative by the Task Force has identified another critical need of our Bergen County families,” said Commissioner Chair Steven Tanelli. “Diapers are an expensive burden not covered by federal aid during a time that many families are feeling a financial strain because of the pandemic. Through the diaper distribution, we hope to assist while raising awareness about this important public health issue.”
"CFBNJ's Diaper Program is an important part of our mission to address hunger holistically, not just by distributing food but also by providing access to other critical resources," said Carlos Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. "As COVID-19 has exacerbated need for so many families across New Jersey, we're proud to partner with the Bergen County Food Security Task Force to help lighten their burden with essential hygiene products."
For more information about the Bergen County Food Security Task Force, contact [email protected]
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), a member of Feeding America®, has been delivering food, help and hope across the state for 45 years. Last year, CFBNJ provided nutritious food for over 66 million meals through its network of more than 1,000 community partners including pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, mobile pantries, and child and senior feeding programs throughout the 15 New Jersey counties it serves. For our hungry neighbors, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey is the powerful agent of change that fills the emptiness caused by hunger and provides resources that are essential to earning a sustainable living.
Pictured: L to R, Jeannie Fournier, and Jennifer Nelson from CFBNJ, Bergen County Commissioner Mary J. Amoroso, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Bergen County Commissioner Germaine M. Ortiz, and Bergen County Vice Chair Tracy Silna Zur