Parsippany, NJ -- Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) convened a roundtable discussion last week with local food pantries and meal programs to discuss the issue of food security during the COVID-19 pandemic. As noted by the Star-Ledger Editorial Board, 23 percent of Americans are food insecure, and in homes with children under 12, that number increases to 40.9 percent.

“Food insecurity was already a serious issue before the pandemic and the need has only compounded over the last few months,” said Representative Sherrill. “Food pantries and meal programs across the state have had to pivot to provide their services safely in the midst of the pandemic, meet the increased need, and reach new populations who may be experiencing food insecurity for the first time. Our roundtable focused on how organizations in NJ-11 are meeting these challenges, the impact of COVID-related federal funding for food assistance locally, and what additional support is needed. I will continue to support increased aid to SNAP and other emergency food assistance programs to help our residents in New Jersey.”

“On behalf of all of us I want to express our gratitude to Rep. Sherrill for hosting this roundtable and for sharing our concerns about the critical issue of food security,” said Carolyn Lake, Executive Director, Interfaith Food Pantry. “She and her team have been in contact with us from the onset of this crisis to understand the struggles local families and seniors are facing, and the impact the current economic conditions are having on our agencies and within our communities. We share her support of H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act which strengthens SNAP, WIC, Child Nutrition Provisions, The Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Older Americans Act. We urge our Senators to support this legislation and to fortify these programs which are our first line of defense against hunger within our communities.”

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Joined by Representative Sherrill were:

Carolyn Lake, Interfaith Food Pantry, Morris Plains
Bob Dombrowski, St. Agnes' Episcopal Church Food Pantry, Little Falls
Terry Connolly, Nourish NJ, Morristown
Anne Mernin, Toni’s Kitchen, Montclair
Ellsworth Havens, Madison Rotary
Pastor Sidney Williams and Teresa Williams, Table of Hope, Morristown

Representative Sherrill has information on local food security resources for residents on her website, including frequently asked questions, local food pantries, and senior hours at grocery stores throughout the district.