The Community Food Pantry Fund, a state income-tax check-off program, recently distributed $16,000 to New Jersey’s six food banks, Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher said Tuesday.
The check-off was first available on 2010 tax-year forms. It allows taxpayers to either contribute a portion of their tax refund or make a donation. Money collected for the fund must be used exclusively for food purchases.
“When filing your taxes, please seek out this fund and donate to this worthy cause,” said Fisher.
Funds were distributed to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Hillside; Food Bank of South Jersey, Pennsauken; Fulfill (formerly the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties), Neptune; Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, Ewing Township; Southern Regional Food Distribution Center, Vineland; and NORWESCAP, Phillipsburg.
The state’s Hunger Prevention Advisory Committee recommended creation of the fund, said Fisher.
The check-off is on the NJ-1040 income-tax form. Since its inception, more than $171,000 in taxpayer-donated money has been distributed to food banks through the fund.
Gov. Phil Murphy and the state Legislature allocated $6.8 million for the current fiscal year’s New Jersey Department of Agriculture State Food Purchase Program. That money is distributed quarterly to the state’s six food banks for the purchase of healthy foods, with an emphasis on buying produce from New Jersey farmers. The program is in its 13th year.
The department also distributes U.S. Department of Agriculture-donated food to the six food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program.