ELIZABETH, NJ -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated three truckloads carrying 120,000 lbs. of food to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside to help combat the financial and food insecurity impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The food is expected to provide 100,000 meals to New Jersey families.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the state's largest anti-hunger, anti-poverty organization, serves 16 counties throughout the state. It is the primary provider of food to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other feeding programs in 12 counties and indirectly supports an additional four counties through partner distribution organizations.

“This support comes to us at a time when it's needed most, especially as food donations have declined and the need for assistance has spiked,” said Carlos Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. “Without contributions like this, we could not do what we do to feed so many food insecure people throughout the state. We are grateful to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their generous donation of nutritious food to CFBNJ.” 

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During normal times, close to 900,000 people in New Jersey are food insecure, and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey provides about 50 million meals every year. During the coronavirus pandemic, the organization’s partners have reported more than a 50% increase in demand for food assistance, even as donations to the food bank have decreased.

“So many of our friends, neighbors and members in New Jersey have been impacted by this virus,” said Diane Nelson, president of the local Scotch Plains Stake Relief Society, the Church’s women’s organization focused on helping those in need, who helped to organize the donation. “There’s no greater work we could be focused on at this time than helping to provide critical nutrition to individuals and families. We are grateful to partner with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.”

The Scotch Plains Stake (similar to a diocese) includes English and Spanish-speaking congregations in the areas surrounding Middlesex, Short Hills, East Orange, Elizabeth, Perth Amboy, and Metuchen. Overall, the Mormon church has 64 English, Spanish and Korean congregations and more than 34,000 members in New Jersey.

“We are eager to help our State during this difficult time,” said John Ure, president of the Scotch Plains Stake. “We’re grateful for the work the Community FoodBank of New Jersey does for the residents of our state, our families and our friends.”

Two truckloads of food were delivered to the Community FoodBank last week and the third will arrive in June. The donations include nonperishable foods such as canned soups and fruits, peanut butter, beans, flour, sugar, cake mixes, pasta and milk powder. 

Across the U.S., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is delivering 15 truckloads of food to food banks and other charitable organizations each week. The Church has also provided $5.5 million in cash donations to key relief agencies in the United States and has initiated 280 COVID-19 relief projects in more than 80 countries.

To learn more about Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s response to the coronavirus pandemic or to donate, visit https://cfbnj.org/coronavirus/.