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By James Thompson

CCC Journalism Program

During the holidays and throughout the year, many Americans rely on local food banks and food drives to feed themselves and their families. The coronavirus pandemic has made the need even greater this year.

According to Feeding America, an advocate for meeting the needs of the hungry in the nation, “50 million people may experience hunger because of COVID-19, 60 percent increase in the number of people seeking help from a food bank, 8 billion meals needed in order to help meet demand.”

Wawa participates in the Check-Out Hunger initiative.

While Feeding America acknowledges that many people may feel uncomfortable seeking or donating food in person because of the fear of catching or spreading COVID-19, there are still ways to help or seek help.

One such place is The Food Bank of South Jersey, which focuses on the food needs of children, senior citizens and families. It is one of many organizations that work to provide food to needy people around the nation.

Among the events that The Food Bank of South Jersey holds is Check-Out Hunger, in which The Food Bank of South Jersey partners with local stores such as Wawa, Wegmans and ShopRite. This allows customers to donate in the store, whenever they see the Check-Out Hunger sign in the store. This event takes place from September to January.

Also, local businesses have been working to help the hungry. Among those establishments is Guido’s Pizza in Camden. The restaurant gave out free meals to people in need during the Thanksgiving week. Restaurant workers made platters to go, so the people in need could eat at this time of giving.

To reach The Food Bank of South Jersey, visit foodbanksj.org/attend-an-event.

To reach the Cherry Hill Food Pantry, visit cherryhillfoodpantry.org.

To reach Grace Episcopal Church’s Food Pantry, visit gracechurchmerchantvillenj.org/foodpantry-thriftshoppe.

To reach Feeding America, visit www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/coronavirus.

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