With the holidays approaching and the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced they will continue to make food assistance available to families in need.
The county will hold its latest food distribution event from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 19 at the county Emergency Services Training Center in Westampton. The site is off Woodlane Road next to the Burlington County Institute of Technology’s Westampton campus. Residents will enter from Woodlane Road and proceed through BCIT’s Westampton Campus to the distribution site.
Burlington County residents in need of assistance are eligible for free boxes of nonperishable foods and goods that will be distributed through a partnership between the county and the Food Bank of South Jersey.
So far this year the county has hosted or partnered in more than a 15 food distribution events and succeeded in providing an excess of 5,000 boxes of groceries to more than 3,000 food insecure families, according to information provided by the freeholders.
More than $100,000 has been spent on food for county families this year and the freeholders have secured additional funding to continue the assistance in 2021.
“Since the start of the pandemic our Freeholder Board has made it our priority to provide whatever assistance we can to our residents, and food assistance is among the most critical parts of our response,” Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson said in the statement. “Two weeks’ worth of food may not seem like much, but for families struggling with less income or living paycheck to paycheck, this assistance means a lot.
“We know demand for this critical help remains high, which is why our board is committed to continuing to hold these events for as long as they’re needed,” she added.
In addition to the food assistance, the county’s Housing Hub has also provided services for over 1,000 residents during the pandemic and helped distribute more than $128,000 in rental and mortgage assistance, helping to keep hundreds of residents secure and safe in their homes during the pandemic, according to the statement.
Close to 1,500 households have also been assisted through the county’s Rapid Rehousing Initiative, which provides subsidies to low-income families to allow them to remain in or enter permanent housing, according to the statement.
“Throughout 2020, our board has kept our most vulnerable residents at the forefront, along with those families who have been impacted by the economic crisis the pandemic created,” Hopson said in the statement. “That commitment will continue in the new year as we continue to look for ways to help all our families manage.”