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Food Bank of South Jersey Kicks off New Program: "Mobile Food Pantry"
Grant received from TD Charitable Foundation will help make it possible to fortify new feeding program
South Jersey, April 2010: Recently, the Food Bank of South Jersey received a generous donation of $5,000 from TD Bank, through the TD Charitable Foundation to support a trailblazing new program. The program, called the Mobile Food Pantry, is set to kick-off next week . The Mobile Food Pantry will enable truckload quantities of food to be distributed in communities without an adequate number of emergency feeding sites.
Unlike the normal Food Bank of South Jersey model of distributing food to emergency feeding programs, the Mobile Food Pantry will take the food directly to needy people in underserved communities. This model provides an immediate solution to those communities that are in great need but in short supply of surplus food. Given the economic downturn, the Food Bank of South Jersey sees the need of the food-insecure households growing (we distributed 8.2 million pounds of food in 2009 compared to 4.8 million pounds of food in 2008), and see the mobile pantry as an important way to connect hungry people with food.
"This donation supports the basic need of our community," said Rob Curley, Market President for TD Bank. "We are happy to step in and offer our help with the hope that no one in South Jersey goes hungry."
At the point of distribution, the Food Bank of South Jersey will offer not only food, but cooking demonstrations regarding the use of distributed fresh produce by a trained volunteer chef and copies of the sample recipes in both English and Spanish for the clientele to prepare recipes in their homes. In addition, they will be given nutrition education materials developed by our in-house registered dietician in both English and Spanish.
Nutrition volunteers will be available to answer questions and provide counseling to clientele at specific sites. Financial education courses that emphasize budgeting, saving, and community resources will also be made available to low-income individuals and families. This four to six week course will be piloted in Camden at a Mobile Food Pantry site this summer.
In the four-county area, there are 21,951 families living at or below the poverty level. Of this number more than 50% of the families live in Camden City, Chesilhurst and Salem City. These are the three target areas that have determined to be underserved, as defined by the ratio between the number of people in poverty and the number of established emergency feeding programs in those areas.
About the TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates as TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, and is one of the 15 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation's mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Bank operates, having made over $56 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The efforts of the Foundation are coordinated locally through TD Bank's community relations departments and are focused on the areas of affordable housing, education and financial literacy, and the environment. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at www.TDBank.com.
About the Food Bank of South Jersey
The Food Bank of South Jersey is a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit hunger-relief organization founded in 1985. Focused solely on the South Jersey region, the organization serves Burlington, Camden,Gloucester, and Salem counties. Now in its 25th year of community service, the organization continues to be a reliable source of charitable food. Since its inception, it has distributed provide nearly 100 million pounds of food--the equivalent of 84 million meals--to thousands of families, seniors, individuals and children in need. It is a member of Feeding America the largest domestic hunger relief organization, as well as an affiliate of the United Way of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. For more information, please visit: http://www.foodbanksj.org