N.J. food pantries are depleted

The shelves at area food banks are getting empty — and summer is to blame.

Kathleen DiChiara, president of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, says many people on their summer vacations don’t think about the poor and the hungry.

She says food supplies are down now while the demand is increasing.

“It’s not letting up,” DiChiara said. “If there’s a recovery the people that we’re seeing are not experiencing it.”

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DiChiara says free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch programs for students returning to school won’t significantly ease the strain on food banks.

“Yes the kids are getting fed in school, but these are families that are struggling. They’re sill needing help with food,” she said.

DiChiara says the growing need for assistance comes from people who have lost their jobs and have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

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