Community FoodBank of NJ CEO Addresses Hunger in New Jersey

Debra Vizzi, President and CEO, Community FoodBank of New Jersey discusses why the FoodBank is addressing hunger as a health issue, and shares her opinion on the Trump Administration’s proposed budget to cut funding to critical programs like Meals on Wheels.

5/20/17 #110






"State of Affairs welcomes Debra Vizzi, who is President and CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, an absolutely terrific organization that does what? The largest anti-hunger, anti-poverty organization in the state. Yeah. And we feed millions of people. Yeah we're actually gonna put the website up if people want to find out more and a way to be helpful. How serious is the hunger problem in the state of New Jersey? And then we'll talk about the United States. It's large. There is hunger in every county in the state of New Jersey. And it's something that we really work on communicating with New Jerseyans, because I think people really think it's in pockets. But it's in every single county. We have a pantry, a shelter, a food... you know, a soup kitchen in every county in the state. Yeah. By the way, there's a PSA public service awareness campaign that we have going on right now that tries to talk about what the issue is, and what people can do. But I'm curious about this. The afterschool cuts that are being proposed. Who is proposing the cuts? What impact will those cuts have on whom? And why does it matter? It matters greatly. I mean, you know, for many of the food banks throughout the country... These are federal cuts? Yeah, federal cuts. You know, the afterschool programs are pivotal for children to get healthy meals, and to have regular meals throughout the week. You know, for the food bank, we always talk about the Summer being the most vulnerable time for us. Most of our donations have... There's no school? Exactly. And most of our donations happen during the holiday season, from September to December. But now, as we're approaching Summertime, this is really crisis time for us. Because now breakfast and lunch is no longer available. And children go hungry. We know this to be a fact. And not having afterschool programs supplement meals, is a real issue. And it's going to affect outcome. So... but Debra, not that you know what the Trump Administration would be thinking, but if they were to argue, "Hey listen, let the states take care of that." Mm hmm. That's not a federal responsibility. You say? I say it is a responsibility of the government, because there are lots of things we can do without, but we cannot, as a country, go without eating. And children cannot go without eating. And so it's all of our responsibilities as good neighbors. I mean, most of our attention has been overseas on these issues. And we're having this problem in our country. In our state. In our communities..."