Inflation hits New Jersey’s poorest people in ways you never thought possible

Rising gas prices are not only making it harder to keep gas in people’s cars, they’re also making it harder to keep food on the table. As a result, his two food banks in New Jersey were affected.

full fill truck

Photo credit: Fulfill

Fulfills Neptune City to feed soup kitchens and food pantries in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Its mission is to alleviate hunger, build food security and ensure people always have access to nutritious food.

But for those who live in Monmouth and Ocean counties, getting around the area without a car is nearly impossible, said Triada Stampas, CEO and president of Fulfill.

Food is where people sacrifice when they’re on a budget, she said.

As a result, Fulfill supports food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens in both counties, increasing the need.

Stampus said rising gas prices have made it very difficult to recruit volunteer drivers. Fulfill also has its own collection of tracks. As the cost of their own fuel is rising, so is the cost of food.

“The same sticker shock that people face with the gas pump in their car is stressing our operations at exactly the same time,” she said.

Stampus added that rising gas and food prices are making their dollars less and less stretchy in terms of the amount of food they can move.

Fulfill receives funding from a variety of sources, including governments and philanthropic organizations, many of which come from individual donors.

Stampus said that while the pandemic has become endemic, not everyone is as well as they used to be. As such, Fulfill offers a higher level of service, making these services even more necessary than before the pandemic.

“However, operating costs continue to rise when we need to buy more food, but supply chain issues are driving up prices, and just moving the food we have is becoming more and more costly. “We are doing it,” said Stampas.

Community Food Bank of New Jersey

Community Food Bank of New Jersey

Carlos Rodriguez, CEO and president of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, which has warehouses in Hillside and Egg Harbor Township, said he’s been through the same blow.

He said many New Jersey families are struggling to put food on the table. should be addressed. This makes it even harder to get out of the economic turmoil of the past two years.

Community food banks in New Jersey also need to navigate how much food they buy, how people get the food they need, and their ability to meet this growing and sustained need with rising fuel prices. They, too, deliver most of their food to local pantries in 11 to 15 counties.

“We have to continually adapt to finding foods that are affordable and available and that make sense to our neighbors in terms of nutrition and availability,” Rodriguez said.

So food banks have to pay more for what they bring in, have to coordinate the availability of different products, and pay more to bring in and deliver food. must, he added.

Rodriguez said volunteers are just beginning to return to food banks after the pandemic. He hopes the addition of fuel and rising gasoline prices won’t affect that because food banks rely on volunteer support at multiple locations.

Rodriguez said food banks’ ability to respond will continue to be challenged by these changes and rising prices as New Jersey residents continue to suffer from the effects of the pandemic, rising gas and food prices.

“The pandemic is not over yet. More than ever, we are reaching out to our neighbors and partners to support us financially so we can continue to provide much-needed food across the state. We continue to rely on the help of

It will take many years for families to return to pre-disaster levels of food security. Rodriguez said the disaster, whether it’s the pandemic, the aftermath of the pandemic, or inflation that makes things more complicated, continues to add a certain amount of complexity, and it’s important for families to have a sense of normalcy and peace of mind. said they are adding more hurdles to get how to achieve their food goals.

Donations, whether food-related or monetary, are welcome at both food banks.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected].

To contact the editor with feedback or corrections to this article, click here.

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