A Letter from Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno walking with Carlos Rodriguez, Executive Director of FulFill. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno walking with Carlos Rodriguez, Executive Director of Fulfill.

Food insecurity is a prevalent issue that impacts every community throughout New Jersey. According to Feeding America, more than 1 million New Jerseyans, or approximately 11.8% of our citizens, are food insecure, lacking enough food to live healthy lives. The disparity of affluence across our State is representative in these numbers. For example, Hunterdon County reported the lowest food insecurity rate in the State at 6.4 percent. While Essex County ranked the highest at 18.6 percent. Or put another way, a less than an hour’s drive separates the least and most food insecure in our State.

As part of our Summer Season of Service Initiative, I recently visited three community food banks to bring awareness to our State’s on-going fight against food insecurity.

On July 13, I visited Fulfill, formerly known as the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, to help put together CSFP (Commodity Senior Food Program) bags for in-need seniors. Each day, Fulfill estimates that 1 in 10 residents of Monmouth and Ocean counties do not have enough food to eat; this includes over 21,000 children in Monmouth County and 25,000 children in Ocean County. Actively seeking to meet this challenge, Fulfill provides over 12 million meals each year to 132,000 residents of Ocean and Monmouth counties, including over 140,000 meals to school children in backpacks, kids’ cafes, and summer meal programs.

On July 14, I visited the Community Foodbank of New Jersey’s location in Egg Harbor Township (CFBNJ) to help stock shelves, help food banks clients with shopping, and fill boxes. The CFBNJ’s facilities in Egg Harbor Township and Hillside, which I visited on June 29, distribute more than 40 million pounds of food a year to more than 1,000 community partners, feeding more than 4.7 million people. Since their incorporation in 1982, they have distributed some 600 million pounds of food valued at approximately $1 billion.

Organizations like Fulfill and CFBNJ, and those that staff them, represent the front line in the fight against food insecurity and poverty across New Jersey. They truly deserve the thanks and the cooperation of all New Jerseyans. They inspire me, their communities and their State, and they remind us that the poor, and those that suffer or have lost hope, are not strangers in our midst. Rather, they are our neighbors, friends and fellow New Jerseyan’s who need our help.


Kim Guadagno
Lt. Governor



Fulfill Foodbank with Lt. Governor and staff







CFBNJ Foodbank of Hillside, New Jersey

 

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