Catholic Charities fighting hunger in South Jersey


The need for food donations in the South Jersey community continues to grow as more and more families struggle to provide adequate food.

According to statistics provided by Feeding America, 12.7 percent of New Jersey’s population (over 1.1 million people) is food insecure. Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, offers food assistance through our food pantry sites in Atlantic City, Rio Grande, Vineland, Penns Grove and Westville. Like many local food pantries, Catholic Charities faces an ongoing challenge to meet the growing need for food assistance.

John Desparrois, administrator for Catholic Charities’ Family and Community Service Centers, explains: “The new face of poverty arrives at our doors daily, those who have never experienced a food shortage in their homes; the choice between heating and eating, electric or not brings folks to us for the most basic need of food.”

In response to the ongoing struggle to meet this need for food assistance, Catholic Charities is participating in the 2012 Feinstein Challenge. This Challenge, sponsored by the Feinstein Foundation, distributes $1 million to hunger-fighting agencies nationwide. The more we raise between March 1 and April 30 (through financial donations or food donations), the greater the award we will receive from the Foundation.

Donations are being accepted at six Catholic Charities locations throughout South Jersey. Please contact the donation site closest to you to find out how you can help: Atlantic City (609-345-3448), Rio Grande (609-886-2662), Vineland (856-691-1841), Penns Grove (856-299-1296), Westville (856-845-9200), and Camden (856-308-0497). Financial donations can also be mailed to Catholic Charities, Attention: Feinstein Challenge, 1845 Haddon Avenue, Camden, NJ 08103.

For more information about the Feinstein Challenge or how Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden is fighting hunger in South Jersey, contact Christine Polit at 856-308-0497 or

Christine Polit, MPH, is Public Health Community Outreach Program Developer, Catholic Charities.