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For Immediate Release: May 14, 2008
Contact: Lynne Richmond 
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – New Jersey’s six emergency feeding operations will share $1.19 million in funding from Governor Corzine’s Initiative to Fight Hunger to purchase food to feed more residents in need.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture today sent out checks to the state’s foodbanks as part of the State Food Purchase Program, created to distribute the hunger initiative money.  The checks are the final payment of the Fiscal Year 2008 funds, which totaled $4 million. 

“We recognize that the uncertain economy and rising food prices are impacting New Jersey residents, causing many more people to seek out assistance in feeding their families,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine.  “These Hunger Initiative funds will help the food banks restock their shelves with nutritious foods and improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable who depend on these agencies for assistance.”

The State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) began in 2006 with a $3 million allocation for nutrient-dense food purchases for the hungry, which enabled the state’s food banks to purchase 3.9 million pounds of food that fed an average of 69,110 recipients each month in that first year.  The SFPP encourages food purchases to focus on locally grown or produced items first, then regionally and finally outside of the area.

“The Hunger Initiative funding has made a real difference in the lives of many New Jersey residents and this final disbursement comes at just the right time when there is an increased demand,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus.  “Not only will those in need benefit from the healthy foods the food banks will purchase with the money, but there is a potential benefit to our state’s farmers who supply the agencies with locally grown products.”

The Fiscal 2008 budget allocated $4 million to the State Food Purchase Program and Governor Corzine has proposed maintaining that level of funding for the next fiscal year.

The amount allocated to each of the emergency feeding operations is based on the number of people they serve and other criteria.  The fourth quarter payments are as follows: $835,889 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; and, $24,317 for NORWESCAP, Phillipsburg; and $16,990 for Southern Regional Food Distribution Center.

For information on the State Food Purchase Program, visit: