The warehouse shipped out 2 million pounds of food in June alone, and while the economy is seeing improvement, there is still an unprecedented strain on food pantries in the region.
“So what we have is a warehouse that is working very hard to make sure food is coming in at a rapid rate and going out at a rapid rate,” senior director of advocacy Greg DeLozier said.
The Food Bank of South Jersey has increased the number of partners it supplies during the pandemic and now helps more than 200 organizations serve local communities.
“We actually have grown, and they’ve stayed in business,” DeLozier said. “We push food into the neighborhoods so people don’t have to come out of it.”
Streamlining the process is one of the keys to meeting the increased demand.
He said they’ve been using prepackaged “emergency food boxes,” which some people don’t like, but it allows them to help in greater numbers while also limiting the spread of the virus.
“Those emergency food boxes were the single biggest component of doing that because we can take the box, with masked volunteers or employees, and put it into your car, usually into your trunk, and there’s no contact at all," DeLozier added.
President and CEO Fred Wasiak said they always need help, but right now, cash is needed more than anything else.
“Monetary support is what’s most needed right now,” Wasiak said. “It allows us to purchase the right foods, the healthy foods that need to go to our children, our seniors, our families.”
He said because the food donations that come in can be unpredictable, having the option to buy in bulk the things they need gives the organization more flexibility to provide plenty of options inside those emergency food boxes.
More information on donations and volunteering can be found online.