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Photo of Ed Cier, Emma Davis-Kovacs and Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez presenting Kathleen DiChiara of Community FoodBank of NJ with Grant Check - Click to enlarge
For Immediate Release: April 30, 2007
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – Hunger Prevention and Assistance Grants totaling $125,000 were distributed on April 18 to New Jersey’s seven emergency feeding operations.

The funding is the third installment of a $500,000 four-year grant for the Department of Agriculture’s emergency feeding organizations (EFO).  The money comes from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, a federal cash assistance program for welfare clients, administered in the state by the Department of Human Services. 

“The Hunger Prevention and Assistance block grants provide much needed funding for our emergency feeding operations, which struggle each day to supply local food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters with enough food to feed their clients,” said Emma Davis-Kovacs, Director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Food and Nutrition.  “The grants along with Governor Jon Corzine’s Hunger Initiative funding, have provided a boost to the system that feeds our neediest citizens.”

Governor Corzine’s Initiative to Fight Hunger allocated $3 million in this year’s budget for additional food purchases and $1 million for infrastructure improvements for the EFOs to distribute to their contracted organizations.  He has proposed an increase in next year’s budget for the program to $4 million a year would be spent entirely on food purchases. 

Receiving TANF block grants were:  Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Hillside, $58,911; the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Neptune, $26,113; Food Bank of South Jersey, $ Pennsauken, $15,900; Mercer Street Friends, Ewing, $7,190; Southern Regional Food Distribution Center, Vineland, $5,808; Middlesex County Economic Opportunities Corporation, North Brunswick, $5,675; and, NORWESCAP, Phillipsburg, $5,403.

Since 2004, $375,000 in TANF block grants has been distributed to the EFOs.  The final installment of $125,000 is expected to be dispersed by the end of this year.

The Department of Agriculture’s seven contracted emergency food organizations distribute United States Department of Agriculture donated commodities allocated through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), a federal program administered in New Jersey through the state Department of Agriculture.  The Department contracts with the emergency food organizations to distribute federally donated food to needy individuals and families through a statewide network of 660 local pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

Last year, the Department distributed more than 10 million pounds of the USDA commodities.