Bill combats food insecurity during coronavirus pandemic

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Image by Davgood Kirshot from Pixabay
Urban News Staff Reports

A bill recently passed by the New Jersey Assembly would require information on food access programs and resources to be prominently displayed on the main website of the State’s 2-1-1 system. The information would also be disseminating on social media and other appropriate measures.

The bill is sponsored by Assemblywomen Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester), Jean Stanfield (R-Atlantic, Burlington, Camden) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). It was approved by the Assembly 65-0.

“Disseminating information on food access and available resources is an important part of the plan. Accurate, prominent, and timely updates on how and where people can find what they need can help temper some of the uncertainties that people are facing," Stanfield said.

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, an estimated 11 percent of American households were considered food insecure because they did not have consistent access to sufficient food. Food insecurity will likely escalate during the pandemic if workers are forced to take time off from work or lose pay.

To help reduce hunger during this public health crisis, a measure passed the Senate and received final legislative approval on Thursday. It now goes to the Governor for further consideration.

“That last thing those self-isolating need to worry about is where their next meal is coming from,"  Vainieri Huttle said. "We must redouble our effort fight hunger and food insecurity in the midst of this pandemic, starting with raising awareness for critical food assistance programs.”

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