PARK RIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Seeing a spike in food insecurity, there’s a new effort to help stop hunger in New Jersey.

Across the state, the number of hungry people has risen 56% since the start of the pandemic.

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One thousand boxes of food were unloaded Tuesday morning at the Park Ridge food pantry.

Officials say the pantry went from helping 30 families before the pandemic to now helping up to 125 families a week.

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“We’ve seen other pantries throughout the county going from 20 families to 250 families throughout this pandemic. The food insecurity issues are our neighbors’ issues and we’re all here to help,” Bergen County Commissioner Tracy Zur said.

Officials say due to the pandemic, food insecurity is projected to increase by 71% in Bergen County, impacting more than 60,000 residents.

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