Number surges by 56% this year, higher than national rate due to hard-hit hospitality and leisure industries
The number of New Jerseyans who have uncertain access to healthy food is expected to increase by more than 50% by the end of this year because of the pandemic, bringing the total of “food insecure” people to 1.2 million, or 13.5% of the population, according to a report issued on Wednesday.
For children, the projected increase is even bigger, at 75%, bringing the total to 365,000, the report said.
The Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the state’s biggest food bank, said the New Jersey increase is 10 percentage points bigger than the national average, and greater than the rises reported for Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York.
New Jersey’s projected increase is 56% from the pre-pandemic level of 774,000 food-insecure people. That exceeds a 46% national increase, as well as the 45% rises for both New York and Pennsylvania.