PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (CBS) — Food insecurity is growing amid the pandemic as job losses are mounting and businesses feel the effect of COVID restrictions. Local officials and nonprofit groups are working hard to help those in need.
Food pantries are filled trying to make sure everyone can be fed for the holiday season and beyond.
“We started today around 10 o’clock and we’ve seen probably 50-60 cars already,” said Camden County Freeholder Jonathan L. Young.
The lines for food are growing throughout Camden County.
“COVID has made food security a dire problem,” said Keith Maynor with the Salvation Army.
From Ferry Avenue to the Kroc Center, COVID continues to be the culprit.
“This has been weeks and months in planning to make sure families in Camden County have a Thanksgiving meal,” Maynor said.
The South Jersey Food Bank says they serve 95,000 people a month, but they’ve never seen anything like this.
“Food is coming in the warehouse and going out as quickly as we can possibly move it,” said Greg DeLozier, the director of advocacy for the South Jersey Food Bank.
Record amounts of food are being given away. Already, 15,000 turkeys have flown out their bay doors this month. And they estimate 50% to 60% more people are relying on their services this year.
“If you’re talking about a hurricane, it would require this warehouse to be in the spot where the hurricane hit, and it would hit day after day after day after day to even compare to this,” DeLozier said.
The 63,000-square-foot Pennsauken warehouse works with 206 agencies, helping to feed four counties throughout South Jersey.
DeLozier says people new to them now come from every background.
“We see a lot of really nice cars coming in. And just the look on the people’s faces as they’re taking food, there’s a horrified look because they don’t know what to do,” DeLozier said.
If you do want to donate to the food bank, they say please just monetary donations at this time. They’re able to use that money to buy in bulk and get more food.
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