Now’s the time to help NJ food banks prepare for Thanksgiving
The push is on to keep pace with the need for turkeys and Thanksgiving food again this year. Food banks in the state are working hard to put it all together for thousands struggling to set a holiday table.
Linda Keenan, director of development for the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, says they are providing emergency food for 1 out of every 10 people in the two counties — about 132,000 people, of which 40,000 are children.
"During the holidays we want to make sure that these families can enjoy healthy, nutritious meal," she said.
Keenan says they are having a special day on Saturday at their Neptune location, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., for anyone who would like to stop by and drop a turkey, trimmings or any kind of nonperishable food.
Many New Jersey food banks are planning special drives this weekend to bolster their Thanksgiving supplies.
Tim Vogel, director of food sourcing for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, based in Hillside, says they are having a big turkey drive on Saturday and Sunday.
"We have volunteers at 29 sites on Saturday and we have volunteers at six sites on Sunday. They are picking up, asking people to donate turkeys and food and money to our organization."
The 35 sites exclude the Community FoodBank's southern branch in Egg Harbor Township. The southern branch is hosting 13 sites on Saturday.
Food bank officials around the state are telling us donations this year are about where they were last year, and in some places a little ahead of last year.
"We are doing well, and I would say that we are on par," said Tom Sims of the Food Bank of South Jersey.
His organization works with 250 food pantries in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem. They supply about 10 to 11 million pounds food for upwards of 190,000 people annually,
"This is a very busy time for folks, and we understand that. But we are seeing a lot of folks showing support," he said.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor for New Jersey 101.5.