HILLSIDE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Supply chain issues are not just hitting consumers before the holidays. Food banks are also feeling the crunch.
The pandemic has left a large number of people unemployed and in need of help. The Community Food Bank of New Jersey serves more than 800,000 families.READ MORE: Inflating Prices Increasing Need For Donations To New Jersey Food Pantries
“Two hundred thousand of them are children. So, it’s about 1 in 11 people in New Jersey are food insecure,” Community Food Bank’s Nadine Rosenbaum-Lehrer told CBS2’s Meg Baker on Monday.
Local pantries need help this year more than ever. Shortages and increased prices at food stores have translated into fewer donations. President and CEO Carlos Rodriguez said he is nervous about a turkey shortage.
“This will be the second hurdle for our turkeys to climb. First, it was 35 cents more a pound we are paying this year and now it’s just the supply chain issues to actually get them here,” Rodriguez said.
And then to the tables of neighbors in need.
“We are looking for truck drivers and we are looking warehouse associate, folks who can use pallet jacks and forklifts. It’s extremely important. We cannot do what we do without that labor,” Rosenbaum-Lehrer said.
This is especially important to get fresh produce distributed quickly.READ MORE: Over 100 Volunteers Hand Out 2,500 Thanksgiving Meals To Families In Need In New Jersey
One of the items the food bank has had trouble getting in is fruit concentrate.
“Aluminum is hard to come by so we couldn’t get the same size cans. So we are buying things in different unit sizes,” Rodriguez said.
Baker asked if monetary donations are still the best way to help.
“Monetary donations now more than ever are the best because we are purchasing probably more than 30% more than we ever had before the pandemic. Just to put that into perspective, before the pandemic we were distributing enough food for 50 million meals. This year, we’re on track 93 million meals,” Rodriguez said.
Every dollar donated helps support three meals. The food bank wants to remind people this aid is not only needed during the holidays but year round.
For more information on how you can help, please click here.MORE NEWS: Drive-Up Food Distribution Held In New Jersey To Help Families In Need
CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report.