In response to increased food insecurity throughout New Jersey as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Assembly Democrats Craig J. Coughlin, Shanique Speight and John Armato have sponsored a bill to allocate federal funds to support food bank organizations.
A report from October 2020 projected an increase of more than 50 percent in food insecurity throughout the state compared to pre-pandemic levels. The bill (A-5405/S-3527) would appropriate $10 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to the Department of Agriculture to support food banks and other organizations combating food insecurity in New Jersey.
Upon the bill unanimously passing the full Senate and Assembly Thursday, Speaker Coughlin (D-Middlesex), Assemblywoman Speight (D-Essex) and Assemblyman Armato (D-Atlantic) issued the following joint statement:
“Far too many families are struggling to put food on the table right now because of the financial impact of COVID-19. Throughout this crisis, food banks have been providing critical support to community members in need – ensuring no one who seeks their help goes home hungry. Allocating funds to New Jersey’s food banks will help these organizations continue their important mission of helping residents get through challenging times.”
The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.