HACKENSACK, N.J. — Gray skies and the coronavirus pandemic didn’t deter the Center For Food Action’s (CFA) mission to prevent hunger and improve the lives of low-income families.

On March 25, Hackensack was one of three sites in Bergen County where the CFA distributed food to individuals in need amidst the coronavirus crisis. Smiles and waves were exchanged while observing the six-feet-apart rule per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations.

Last week, families from Hackensack, Saddle Brook and Englewood received a variety of essential foods from meat, eggs, cheese, fresh produce, and rolls of toilet paper. The Community Food Bank of New Jersey donated a box containing canned goods and non-perishable items designed to create 40 meals.

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Though working on a reduced schedule, the CFA continues to serve the thousands of low-income residents on a monthly basis. But instead of volunteers packing groceries, the current climate has created “unique challenges.” According to Patricia Espy, CFA executive director, food is being distributed via drive-up and by appointment only. This creates a problem because without volunteers to sort and date the food, they're unable to accept donations.

Instead, the CFA is seeking monetary donations and supermarket gift cards to allow for the purchase of large quantities of food that don't require sorting or dating. This new system, she added, would redirect the focus on getting food to the most vulnerable individuals. 

To donate, go to cfanj.salsalabs.org/donatenow/index.html