Following Mary Pat

Community FoodBank of New Jersey Tour

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Today my daughter, Sarah, and I went to visit the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. It is a great organization that does so much to raise awareness of hunger and poverty in our State. The organization's Executive Director, Kathleen DiChiara provided us with an in depth tour of their expansive facility.

Back in 1975, Kathleen felt a call to action to help the underprivileged and began distributing groceries out of the trunk of her car. Over the years, Kathleen has worked tirelessly to mold and grow this organization that has made an enormous impact in the lives of thousands of New Jerseyans. Today, the organization distributes over 23 million pounds of food and groceries a year, ultimately servicing 1,656 non-profit programs, including 436 programs served by its Partner Distribution Organizations.  Through their combined efforts, they assist 750,000 low-income people in 18 of New Jersey's 21 counties.

Kathleen DiChiara is such an inspiration and a shining example of how New Jerseyans are willing to give back. I was especially inspired by Kathleen's devotion to men and women coming out of our state's correctional facilities that she hires at the FoodBank.  She is giving these people a second chance by giving them jobs they can be proud of.  The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is always looking for volunteers and there are numerous ways that you can help - from sorting and repacking food for distribution, to collecting food and community food drives.  I encourage you to visit the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Website and look into opportunities where you can help. www.njfoodbank.org