Hundreds expected to receive free groceries at food bank in Camden, New Jersey

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The weekly distribution of free groceries in Camden, New Jersey is taking on additional importance for hundreds of people, as the battle against coronavirus continues.

Wednesday is already an important day for those families who depend on food every week to make ends meet.

It's now more critical as the economy continues to take a downward turn.

Along with the usual groceries that are available, the families will also receive spiral hams, which aren't usually given out.

"We'll probably serve about 200 people today and we'll probably distribute somewhere around 10,000 lbs of food on a typical Wednesday," said Gerald Davis, executive director of Touch New Jersey.

The middle of the week marks the busiest day for Touch New Jersey, a non-profit organization that distributes non-prepared food.

The food bank is staffed by volunteer workers from the Senior Community Service Employment Program, also referred to as SCSEP.

Grocery pick-ups happen on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in North Camden at 549 State Street, according to Davis.

The one-time giveaway of spiral hams will take place on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

"They don't pay anything, everything comes directly from Philabundance through us," said Davis. "They'll go home this morning with 40 or 50lbs of groceries to include things like meats, dairy, produce, dry goods, and bakery and bread."

Davis said the organization is providing a crucial resource, especially during this public health crisis caused by coronavirus.

North Camden is in a food desert, which makes it difficult for families who are already trying to make ends meet.

"For instance, we'll have the grandmother who's raising two children, the single mother who's raising two children, those types of people. The family who basically the husband is out of work," Davis said.

Davis, a Vietnam veteran, said every little bit counts in the battle to combat hunger.
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