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Photo of items purchased through the State Food Purchase Program - Click to enlarge
First Quarter Checks Distributed to Foodbanks in State
For Immediate Release: August 17, 2007
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – With the fight against hunger continuing to be a priority for Governor Jon S. Corzine, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture today distributed $1,155,000 to the six emergency feeding operations throughout the state for the purchase of nutritious foods. 

For the second year, Governor Corzine’s state budget included funding for the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) to help feed more people in need.  This year, funding for the program was increased to $4 million, which will be distributed in quarterly payments to the feeding operations to buy healthy foods, with a first priority on buying locally, for distribution to their network of food pantries, homeless shelters and soup kitchens

“In a state where the median household income is well above the national average, we can not let children, senior citizens and others who cannot make ends meet go hungry,” said Governor Corzine.  “Continuation of the State Food Purchase Program will ensure that as many as half a million more people in need will be provided with nutritious food products.”

During Fiscal Year 2007, $3 million was allocated for the program, which enabled the state’s food banks to purchase an average of 262,695 pounds of food monthly that fed 69,110 recipients each month for the first year of the program.  Another million dollars was used to buy needed equipment, such as refrigerators and freezers for the local distribution agencies.

“While shelf stable food items are still a staple at the food pantries, the State Food Purchase Program successfully encourages healthier diets for the hungry,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus.  “The program will continue to build upon the successes of its first year, buying local eggs, produce, and other products, which benefit our region’s economy, as well as distributing nutrition information to the clients.”

The first quarterly distribution of funds for the SFPP included: $799,705 for Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Hillside; $168,862 for Food Bank of South Jersey, Pennsauken; $93,255 for Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Neptune; $51,871 for Mercer Street Friends, Ewing; $24,317 for NORWESCAP, Phillipsburg; and $16,990 for Southern Regional Food Distribution Center, Vineland.

The amounts allocated to each of the six emergency feeding operations are based on the number of people they serve and other criteria.  The next quarterly fund distributions are slated for November, and February and May 2008.

The Department of Agriculture operates the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which distributes food donated by the United States Department of Agriculture through a network of 660 food pantries, soup kitchens and other feeding operations.  Last year, the Department distributed more than 10 million pounds of the USDA commodities.

For information on the State Food Purchase Program, visit: