Somerset County kicked off its 28th annual Curbing Hunger Month with more than $160,000 in grants to local food banks.
The annual collection in conjunction with nonprofit Curbing Hunger is held in June each year because food insecurity increases during the summer even as food bank supplies are lower. Over the past two years COVID-19 has made the situation even more dire.
“The COVID pandemic has strained the finances of so many of our friends and neighbors, making our collective support for community food banks all the more important this year,” said Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Robinson. “Somerset County is committed to using every resource at our disposal to ensure there is enough stock at our food banks for all our families who need a little help.”
The New Jersey Department of Health estimates that more than 17,000 Somerset County households don’t have access to adequate amounts of nutritious food. For adults, being food insecure means a higher risk of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health problems. For children, it can mean lifelong health conditions and diminished academic achievement.
“Donating to Curbing Hunger Month is really easy. Most residences have already received donation bags tied to their recycling containers, and all you have to do to donate is fill it with canned goods and leave it out on your next recycling day,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Melonie Marano in the annual Curbing Hunger Month video.
“Your donations will be delivered immediately to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County and other local food banks because hunger never takes a vacation.”
Bright orange and bio-degradable green Curbing Hunger bags are being distributed during curbside recycling collections at the end of May and in early June. Residents can place canned food and non-perishable goods in the biodegradable Curbing Hunger bags tied to the handle of their recycling bins.
Residents who have not received their Curbing Hunger bags or those who want to donate more than can fit in the bag that is provided should use any bag and mark “food” on the bag with a permanent marker.
Residents should leave their donations at the curb with their recycling to be picked up on their regularly scheduled recycling days. Donations will be distributed to the Food Bank Network of Somerset County and other county food pantries.
To purchase fresh fruits and vegetables online, visit CurbingHunger2022.org.
Checks can be made payable to Curbing Hunger, Inc. and mailed to 140 South Finley Ave., Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.