Department of Human Services | Commissioner Urges Residents to Help the Hungry
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For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2007

For Information, Contact:
Pam Ronan, Ed Rogan, 609-292-3703

NJ Food Banks Need Donations during Holidays and Year-Round
TRENTON – For too many New Jerseyans, purchasing basic holiday foods can be out of reach. That's why Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez is urging New Jerseyans to donate to their local food banks and pantries this holiday season.
“While at the market, pick up extra cans of tuna and soup, boxes of pasta and cereal, packages of beans and jars of peanut butter. Or use the ‘Check-Out Hunger' stubs at the register to donate $3 or $5 painlessly. You probably won't notice the few dollars added to your total, but the hungry families in New Jersey will notice your kindness,” she said.

It is estimated that more than 1 million residents live on the edge of poverty and need to rely on the services provided through the state's six regional food banks. Last year, New Jersey 's food banks distributed almost 35 million pounds of food to 1,100 emergency food providers. This helped more than 2 million people receive meals and/or groceries at local pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, senior citizens' programs or child care centers. In addition, the Governor's Hunger Initiative has provided $4 million for food purchases this fiscal year through the New Jersey Department of Agriculture's State Food Purchase Program (SFPP).

“Unfortunately, this problem doesn't go away when the holidays do. We need to help our neighbors throughout the year,” said Commissioner Velez. “So if you have a little extra, please donate to your local pantries. But if you're having trouble putting food on the table, I encourage you to seek our help.”

DHS has many ways to help residents in need get food in their cupboards so they can take the worry out of feeding their families. One way is through the federal food stamps program. By visiting, residents can see if they are eligible for this and other assistance programs. On average, 200,000 New Jersey households depend on food stamps each month.

To find a local food pantry or to donate to a food bank, visit

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