State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) urged Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders to provide funding for food banks in a stop-gap budget Murphy signed into law earlier this week.
“I am deeply concerned by the apparent omission of New Jersey food banks from the recently released temporary state budget, and respectfully request that your offices take immediate action to rectify this issue,” the senator said. “As I am sure you are aware, before the pandemic, 11 percent of Americans were food insecure; in May, that number grew to nearly 23 percent. In households with children ages 12 and under, it has soared to an unprecedented 40.9 percent.”
The budget lawmakers passed earlier this week included massive cuts to offset revenues sent into a tumble by the COVID-19 crisis.
The cuts hit many lawmaker’s pet programs and saw funding levels reduced for legislative priorities, as well as the governors.
“I am troubled by the prospect that our dedicated and hard-working food banks could receive little to no funding from our state, jeopardizing their mission at a time when they are needed most,” Gopal said. “If these funds are not allocated, either through our state budget or through appropriated federal CARES Act funds, I fear that our communities would see an unprecedented rise in hunger and poverty throughout our state.”