For Immediate Release:

January 21, 2021


Derek Sands, Director of Communications, Office of Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco, III

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Michael Sheinfield, Director of Communications and Policy, Office of the Bergen County Board of Commissioners

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HACKENSACK, N.J. – This week the Bergen County Food Security Task Force launched a new emergency food distribution initiative to provide non-perishable meal kits to food pantries across Bergen County. The emergency meal kits purchased using CARES Act funds include a variety of proteins, pasta, rice, and canned fruits and vegetables, in addition to shelf-stable milk and toilet paper.

The Task Force anticipates to deliver over 68,000 pounds of food by the end of January. Distribution of the meal kits will continue through March ultimately serving over 80 pantries across the County.

“The County of Bergen remains committed to supporting our local food pantries which have been a lifeline for so many during these unprecedented times,” said Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Executive. “This new distribution program through the County’s Food Security Task Force will supplement pantries facing increased demand with pre-packaged nutritional non-perishable meal kits.”

These distributions are starting at a time where Bergen County has over 100,000 individuals who are food insecure, a 71% increase from pre-pandemic levels. “Our neighbors need our help, and we need everyone to support our local pantries as the demand continues to increase, said Tracy Zur, Vice Chairwoman to the Board of Commissioners and liaison to the Food Security Task Force. “We know that even when we turn the corner on infection rates, the economic impact of this pandemic will be long lasting.”

The majority of food pantries throughout Bergen County have experienced a 50% increase in clients, while others have experienced an increase of over 200%.  In 2020, Feeding America projected that 30,000 children faced food insecurity, a 113% increase from 2018. 

"The new distribution program ensures that we continue to support our local food pantries and Bergen County families during these difficult times," said Steve Tanelli, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

The Bergen County Food Security Task Force, which was spearheaded by Bergen County Commissioner Tracy Zur in collaboration with the Bergen County Executive’s Office, officially launched on July 15, 2020 in response to the unprecedented increase in food insecurity in Bergen County after the onset of the pandemic. The Task Force has collected data to better understand hunger in Bergen County, as well as bring key stakeholders together to develop best practices for food distribution and infrastructure development.

For more information about the Bergen County Food Security Task Force, contact Marisa Tugultschinow at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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