HACKENSACK, NJ - The Bergen County Food Security Task Force has joined with a Hackensack vertical farm to provide ongoing healthy food options to families in need throughout the county.

Greens Do Good, a four-season hydroponic, vertical farm in Hackensack, NJ and the Bergen County Food Security Task Force have partnered to ensure Bergen County residents have access to healthy food options during the pandemic and beyond. 

Monday marked the first of a recurring monthly donation from Greens Do Good, an organization that employs adults with autism, of 160 heads of fresh lettuce to the Saint Vincent de Paul food pantry at the Holy Trinity Church in Hackensack. The food pantry serves approximately 150 families on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.    

This donation is a result the Bergen County Food Security Task Force’s initiative to increase the quantity of healthy and fresh foods available at local food pantries. In July 2020, Bergen County launched the Food Security Task Force led by Commissioner Tracy Zur and the County Executive Jim Tedesco’s Office, along with leadership from local nonprofits and key representatives from across the county who manage food pantries and local meal distribution efforts daily.

The Task Force is charged with devising new solutions to continuously address the levels of food insecurity across Bergen County and keep local pantries and food distribution efforts stocked.

“We are thrilled that we can support the critical work being done by the Bergen County Food Security Task Force,” says Director of Operations, Jennifer Faust of Greens Do Good. “Our mission is to transform the way our local community sources healthy produce by providing the freshest ingredients in a sustainable and socially responsible way,” adds Lisa Goldstein, Director of Sales. 

Although Bergen County has over 80 pantries and emergency food providers across the county, most were previously unable to distribute perishable items, meaning most struggling families have been living off nonperishables high in starches, sodium, and sugar. After a donation of refrigerators and freezers from the County of Bergen, many pantries are now equipped to accept fresh donations.

“Greens Do Good’s recurring donation of fresh lettuce to the Saint Vincent de Paul Food Pantry will have a tremendous impact on the families who rely on donated food every week” said Commissioner Vice Chairwoman Tracy Silna Zur. “This is an important step in bringing fresh, nutritious foods into our pantries to avoid inadvertently causing health problems such as diabetes and hypertension for the next generation.”

“Bergen County is seeing a 71% increase in food insecurity, meaning that over 103,000 people in Bergen County do not know where their next meal is coming from," added Zur. "We all must join the fight against food insecurity, and do what we can to provide nutritious foods to our neighbors in need.”

 

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