HILLSIDE, NJ –  Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) is kicking off the new decade by celebrating 45 years of fighting hunger in its 16-county service area.

Since 1975, CFBNJ has been dedicated to delivering food, help and hope to the state’s neighbors in need, growing from a one-woman operation to an organization with over 1,000 community partners, providing more than 50 million nutritious meals annually.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey was founded in 1975 with a mission to help families receive nutritious meals, and began with one woman, Kathleen DiChiara, collecting and distributing food from the back of her station wagon, using her garage as storage and her kitchen as an office. In 1982, the organization was officially incorporated as a nonprofit, and in 1993, it moved to its current home in Hillside, New Jersey, allowing CFBNJ to launch its Kids Cafe program in 1999 and Food Service Training Academy in 2000, which also celebrates a milestone 20th anniversary this year.

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Since its inception, CFBNJ not only coordinated emergency supplies and provided bottled water and meals to feed rescue and recovery workers following the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, but also helped those left in need by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 by distributing sandwiches and emergency supplies. Today, CFBNJ is proud to continue to work closely with local and state government to propose and implement long-term solutions to the persistent problem of hunger throughout New Jersey. Most recently, CFBNJ celebrated the Anti-Hunger bills signed into law by Governor Murphy in May of 2019, which provided a visionary step towards establishing a hunger-free New Jersey.

“We couldn’t be prouder of all we have accomplished throughout the last 45 years in New Jersey,” said Carlos Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. “We are looking forward to a year of celebration and reflection for what we have accomplished, while we continue to look ahead at all that still needs to be done as we work to eliminate the barriers to food security in New Jersey.”

In recognition of its 45 years of service, CFBNJ has introduced a new logo, specifically designed to highlight the ways CFBNJ works to fight hunger in New Jersey, providing food for today and helping to address the root causes of food insecurity with a focus on wellness, ultimately filling its hungry neighbors’ hearts with hope.

In recognition of its donors, who help support CFBNJ further its mission throughout the garden state, all donors who contribute a monthly gift of $45 or more will receive a special-edition CFBNJ 45thAnniversary long-sleeve shirt. Interested donors can visit cfbnj.org/45monthly for additional details.

As March is National Women’s Month, CFBNJ is looking forward to highlighting several influential women making a difference in fighting hunger – especially Kathleen DiChiara – whose passion for helping others helped CFBNJ grow into the organization that it is today In addition, CFBNJ is bringing light to a lesser-known women’s issue this National Women’s Month: access to feminine hygiene products and diapers, which are not covered by SNAP. Often, if a woman is struggling to put food on the table, she is also struggling with providing basic need items for herself. This March, CFBNJ asks its generous donors to consider making a gift of sanitary napkins, tampons, Diva Cups and diapers via its Amazon Wishlist, available at cfbnj.org/Amazon. 

For more information on the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s milestone anniversary, please visit www.cfbnj.org/45thanniversary, and keep up with CFBNJ via the hashtag #CFBNJ45.

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