Hunger continues to persist in New Jersey.

Food Pantry
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

"A lot of people tend to think of New Jersey as being such an affluent state, but the reality is that more than 1.1 million people in New Jersey face hunger," said Julia Kathan, the director of public relations for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ).

Of that number, almost 400,000 of them are children.

One of the reasons it is difficult for families to put food on the table, according to Kathan, is because New Jersey has a high cost of living. It is especially difficult for people who are only earning a minimum wage.

But help is available for those in need.

"The Community FoodBank of New Jersey reaches out through more than a thousand partner charities - those are soup kitchens, food pantries and senior and child feeding programs to get that food to the people who need it," Kathan said.

This year alone, CFBNJ will distribute 43 million pounds of food.  "We really are a distribution kind of a hub where massive amounts of food come in," Kathan said.

Despite the amount of food that passes through CFBNJ on a daily basis, more help is needed to ensure that all New Jerseyans are fed.

"With a problem as large as hunger and poverty in New Jersey, as much as we do, we know there's room to do more. We welcome the donations, the partnerships, the volunteer hours - as well as the funds from people that are concerned about the issue," Kathan said.

CFBNJ works with a lot of corporate and foundation partners who donate food and money, but even their generosity only beings to address the problem.

Kathan said there are many ways to get involved and help those in need.  "When people find out how many of their neighbors, not just in cities, but in the suburbs of New Jersey might be going hungry, people are often moved to do something about it."

She stressed that no donation or volunteer hours are too few to make a difference.




More From New Jersey 101.5 FM