WESTAMPTON >> Burlington County will continue to distribute free food to county households this weekend with help from members of the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council and New Jersey Senators Troy Singleton and Dawn Marie Addiego.

Citing continuing need and food insecurity, the County will host the drive-through food pantry event on Saturday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to noon, in the parking lot of the Burlington County Institute of Technology’s Westampton Campus, located off Woodlane Road.

Burlington County residents in need of assistance are eligible for free groceries and produce on a first come first basis while supplies last.

Since the pandemic’s start, the County has partnered with the Food Bank of South Jersey to distribute food for more than 9,000 people from over 2,100 households.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a widespread impact on our residents’ health, finances and livelihoods causing some residents to need additional assistance to make ends meet,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “Providing a few weeks of groceries at no cost to families in need can mean the difference between parents, children or grandparents going hungry or sacrificing other necessities.”

Monthly food distribution days have become an important part of the County’s COVID-19 response.

“Our Board is proud to continue to partner with the Food Bank of South Jersey to offer much-needed food assistance,” stated Hopson. “This month, we are pleased to be joining forces with Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council and Senators Singleton and Addiego.”

The Women’s Advisory Council is an advisory board dedicated to identifying and addressing issues that affect women in Burlington County and with advocating for the general needs of women and issues impacting women’s health, opportunities and rights.

“March is Women’s History Month when we recognize the contributions women have made to our county, state and country and challenge one another to continue to do great work,” said Hopson, who is a Board liaison to the Women’s Advisory Council. “In keeping with that idea, we decided volunteering at our monthly food distribution day was the perfect way for the Council to perform some additional service.”

Commissioner Linda Hynes, who is also a liaison to the Advisory Council, noted that many of the households receiving assistance are single mothers who are the family’s sole breadwinners.

“Female head of households make up a significant number of the families who have received assistance so this really is women helping other women,” said Hynes.

Sen. Singleton and Addiego said they were both proud to join the County’s effort to address food insecurity.

“No one should have to choose between paying rent or utility bills and having enough food to feed their family,” said Addiego. “I’m proud to participate in events like this one that provide struggling families with the extra help they need.”

“Food insecurity is a very real issue that impacts far too many families in our county, including many of our neighbors, friends and co-workers without any of us even knowing about it,” said Singleton. “Burlington County Commissioners and the Women’s Advisory Council are to be commended for their work to make assistance available. It’s during times like this that we all need to band together to help and I’m pleased to volunteer and lend a hand in as many ways as possible.”

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