Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Mila M. Jasey, John F. McKeon, Charles Mainor, Annette Quijano, Gary S. Schaer and L. Grace Spencer were among those who had the following published in the The Star-Ledger explaining why they and their colleagues are undertaking the Greater MetroWest Food Stamp Challenge:
“Taking the Food Stamp Challenge is an opportunity for us as practitioners to understand the true realities of hunger, not just the statistics. In the counties that cover: Essex, Morris, Union, Sussex and parts of Somerset, we see an increase of those in need of food assistance. Increasing requests made to our and community food pantries, and those requesting food assistance has almost doubled in the last two years. We also are working with clients to sign them up for SNAP, which is a slow and cumbersome process in this state. We believe much more can be done to help the food insecure in this state.
“Hunger and poverty are not about staggering statistics — they are issues rooted in the struggles they cause for our neighbors, our friends and community members. We are participating in the food challenge to remind ourselves of this fact — that behind each $1.40 meal there is a human face, a human body yearning for sustenance…”