COVID-19 exacerbated food insecurity levels across Bergen County. On July 15th 2020, Bergen County launched the Food Security Task Force led by Commissioner Tracy Zur and the County Executive Office along with key leadership from local nonprofits and key representatives from across the County who manage food pantries and local meal distribution efforts daily. Together, this Task Force is charged with devising new solutions to ensure every County resident has access to healthy food options during this pandemic and afterwards. While there are over 80+ emergency food providers spread across the County, a recent survey indicated the majority of these sites are experiencing a 50% increase in clients since March 2020 with some sites now serving an increase of more than 200%. Many of these providers are reliant on private individual donations and supplies are quickly dwindling as they struggle to meet the new demand.
Having limited or uncertain access to adequate supplies of food to meet nutritional standards. Hunger is a symptom of being food insecure. Prior to COVID-19, at least 1 in 14 residents in Bergen County were experiencing food insecurity, according to Feeding America. Today, we know from recent surveys that in a single week in Bergen County, up to 20,000+ people will rely on donated food.
The Bergen County Food Security Task Force’s Goals:
The Bergen County Food Security Task Force is a group of government, nonprofit, and civic organizations who have joined forces to combat food insecurity in Bergen County.