Even though the number of cases of COVID-19 in South Jersey remain far below those reported in the northern part of the state, the impact of the pandemic and the closing of many businesses in Atlantic County has been truly devastating.

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The American Gaming Association has estimated that a shutdown of just two months for the state’s nine casinos will spell a loss of $1.1 billion in economic activity and has left nearly 33,300 people in the state without a job.

The need for the most basic help is dire. Local people are asking for help feeding their families.

The Community Food Bank of New Jersey is reporting a 60% increase at their on-site pantry in Egg Harbor Township and the tripling of the number of emergency food boxes being distributed on the average day.

To help with this increased demand for food, Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Unite Here Local 54 is holding a Casino Employee Food Distribution day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 in the parking lot at the Harbor Square Mall, formally Shore Mall, in Egg Harbor Township.

For the safety of all involved, this will be a drive-thru event. The Community Food Bank of New Jersey asks that casino employees clear the trunks of their vehicles to make room for pre-packaged boxes.

Participants must show a casino employee ID.

For more information contact: 609-383-8843 Ext 123.

Here are ways you can help those in need of food in South Jersey, through the Community Food Bank of New Jersey:

  • Give Funds: Many of our neighbors in need are already feeling the economic impact of COVID-19, while others will find themselves struggling for the first time. Continued support is needed now more than ever. A donation of any amount helps us respond to the need.
  • Stay Informed: Stay informed of any updates to our operations through our website and social media channels.
  • Spread the Word: Together, we can help keep New Jersey fed, even during this time of crisis. Spread the word about CFBNJ’s mission to your friends, family, and colleagues.
  • Get Your Company Involved: Your company can help raise funds for COVID-19 response and our year-round hunger relief efforts by matching employee gifts dollar-for-dollar. If you’re interested in setting up a donation page for corporate giving, please contact Evelyn Chiu at echiu@cfbnj.org.
  • Give at Your Local Kings Store: To support our COVID-19 response efforts, Kings Food Markets has restarted our annual Check-Out Hunger campaign in all of its New Jersey stores. Give $1, $3, or $5 at the register when you shop for groceries as a convenient way to help the FoodBank provide for neighbors in need during this crisis.