Helping The Food Banks Address Food Insecurity
Recently, I sponsored a food distribution event in partnership with my legislative colleagues, Assemblyman Herb Conaway and Assemblywoman Carol Murphy. Even though we practiced social distancing, it provided me with a front-row view of one of the difficult and unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been food insecurity resulting from the closures of schools and staggering unemployment rates.
July 4th: Independence Day for ALL
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that the intrusion of the Coronavirus and the Black Lives Matter movement have been among the most prominent news events this year.
While the coronavirus’ impact is evident to everyone, the Black Lives Matter cause and the basis for its support might be less clear.
Helping Those Who Help Everyone Else
While many businesses and institutions have suffered during this COVID pandemic, two stand out that have been especially hard-hit and are struggling to recover. One is food banks, which by their very nature and stated mission are critical institutions that have seen that mission grow in importance during these times. They spend their resources trying to do their part to eradicate food insecurity by ensuring that no one goes to bed hungry. Is there anyone who hasn't seen on television the long lines of people standing or in cars, waiting for help? It shouldn't go unnoticed that some of those recipients, when interviewed, admit they never before stood in a food line.
Safety and Security Begin at Home
Your home is your castle. It is a much-repeated and strongly believed premise no matter the differences in what that “home” looks like or represents. The problem that we face, accentuated by the coronavirus’s punishing impact, is that many homeowners and renters face a grim challenge. Suddenly, and without warning, many New Jerseyans face the prospect of losing their homes because of failure to meet mortgage payments or outright eviction if they are renters.
Economic Relief for New Jersey Workers
While having breakfast recently, I overheard one person saying to his companion, "Well, that's fine and good, but what is it that you do?" I don't recall the answer, but it prompted me to a new degree of self-reflection during our coronavirus pandemic.
One of the issues that have caused searing economic pain is the loss of income, causing financial disruption to families, especially to those in the lower or middle class. You may be asking what have I done, and what am I doing to help improve their economic condition during this present crisis?
So much emotion has been running through my heart and mind over these last several days as we watch our nation react passionately to the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others whose names do not make the headlines. We have been forced to reckon with the manifestation of America’s original sin of slavery. Some may be uncomfortable with that correlation. However, the root of this discrimination lies within a society that allowed the enslaving of its fellow human beings solely based on the color of their skin. This uncomfortable truth must be acknowledged so that we can recognize that while the physical chains that bound black and brown people no longer exist, there are still systemic and psychological chains that hold a segment of our society down.