Food Bank of South Jersey sees 200% spike in demand amid COVID-19 outbreak

PENNSAUKEN TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Food Bank of South Jersey says the demand is up by 200%.

"Typically it's low-income families that we serve especially at the end of the month when their SNAP benefits run out. Now it's everybody there's a lot of unemployment. Unemployment checks haven't been received yet so folks that live paycheck to paycheck are out of money," said Greg DeLozier, senior director of advocacy and government relations.

There's thousands of pounds of food getting shipped out from the distribution center in Pennsauken to more than 100 food pantries in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem counties. They've also had to switch up their operations to account for social distancing.

"We use to have people choose what they wanted. It's not safe to do that anymore so we pre-pack everything and send it out for our distributions," DeLozier said.

The Food Bank of South Jersey said fortunately large donors have really ramped up their efforts, so they're looking pretty good for the next month. They are hoping it continues as they anticipate the need will become greater during these uncertain times.

"If we normally take 100 families in at an event, it's now 200 plus that are coming in and it creates a traffic control issues, social distancing issues, we're trying to coordinate with law enforcement so they know where we are," DeLozier said.

The food bank is limiting social interaction so they don't want people dropping off food. They say the best way to help is to go to their website and make a monetary donation at www.foodbanksj.org.
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