Donations up, but record need for Food Bank of South Jersey

PENNSAUKEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- There is a record-level of need for the services of the Food Bank of South Jersey in Pennsauken this Thanksgiving.

They are distributing a record 20,000 turkeys this Thanksgiving season, in addition to fixings and the usual monthly food distributions.

Turkeys and boxes of food are being packed and loaded, then driven to food pantries in Camden, Burlington, Salem and Gloucester counties for distribution.

This year, Greg DeLozier from the Food Bank of South Jersey explained why the demand is extremely high.

They are now serving around 95,000 people a month in the four counties, as opposed to the usual 45-50,000.

"Everything about this year is a record. Every month is a record for poundage out, for numbers served. The misery index is high," according to DeLozier.

The need is great, but the good news is that donations are high.

That's what Larry Lipinski has seen.

Lipinski is a volunteer for Cherry Hill Food Pantry, who was picking up turkeys and supplies to take back to Cherry Hill.

"It's been crazy. There have been lines," Lipinksi told us. "Donations have been up, which is good, but the need has probably been double."

DeLozier said that there is a deep concern for the long-term economic impact, which he says will last long after any vaccines are potentially released.

"There are hundreds of thousands of people coming off of unemployment but not being hired. They need somewhere to go, and they don't have jobs to do that. That's our biggest problem. This is going to last well into 2021," DeLozier predicted.

The food bank is encouraging monetary donations over holding drives, to minimize contact.

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