New Brunswick Tomorrow Addresses Food Insecurity
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened food insecurity in New Brunswick of food insecurity. A lack of access to food and poor nutrition are often linked to chronic illnesses -- which can complicate a COVID-19 infection. For many low- and moderate-income families, food insecurity amplifies the already-glaring health disparities they face.
A recent NBT initiative provided food vouchers to approximately 250 families with children in New Brunswick public schools during Spring Break. The food vouchers, which allow families to purchase items at two local food markets (New Brunswick Farmer’s Market and Bravo Supermarket), were funded by NBT‘s COVID-19 Community Response Fund, Rutgers Community Health Foundation, Rutgers Against Hunger, and the City of New Brunswick. NBT partnered with Youth Advocate Program and the New Brunswick Public Schools to outreach to families in need. Depending on the size of the family, each family received up to $200 in assistance over the school’s spring break week, with a total of $22,000 in food vouchers.
NBT provided food vouchers to local establishments to: 1) make it easier for families to purchase food close to their homes; 2) to support local businesses that have suffered economically since the COVID pandemic began last March.
This recent food initiative is the fourth of its kind that NBT has spearheaded to address food insecurity in New Brunswick since the pandemic began. Last April, we provided hot meals to 3,000 students/families during spring break. Later in the spring, we were also able to provide gift cards to families to use for groceries. We also hosted an emergency food distribution last summer, which provided 294 families with groceries, totaling over $10,000. We have also worked to connect our most vulnerable families to local food pantries for continued support.
We at NBT know that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be a long one for many of our families, and we remain committed to helping whenever and wherever we can over the months ahead.