As we close out 2022, food pantries across New Jersey are struggling to keep up with demand, but a special opportunity to help is now at hand.

Karen Leies, the chief of external affairs for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, said with inflation still pushing prices higher across the board donations have dropped off.

“We are falling a bit short, we have seen about a 15% (drop) in charitable giving compared to this time last year, but unfortunately the need is every bit as high as during the peak of COVID.”

A guardian angel

She said fortunately a generous anonymous donor has pledged $100,000 as a match for any gift received between now and midnight, Dec. 31 so any amount given will be matched, and greatly appreciated.

“The purchasing power we have at Community FoodBank of New Jersey allows every dollar to translate into three meals for New Jersey families in need,” she said.

She said the easiest way to make a gift between now and the end of the year is to go online at

Leies pointed out many people do make donations to food pantries between Thanksgiving and Christmas but giving typically drops off after that.

poverty concept feeding food for beggar
kuarmungadd GettyImages

A year-round problem

She said that is problematic because hunger is not just a holiday problem “it’s a 365 day a year problem, and so many families have been hit hard with increased food prices and still coming out from the impact of COVID.”

She stressed during the winter months “we still need support, food drives become very important, online cash donations right now will make a tremendous difference, especially with this match.”

She pointed out so many New Jerseyans are working very hard “and still struggling to make ends meet and consistently afford food, so every single person has a chance to make an even bigger impact with a year-end gift right now.”

Leies added all help is greatly appreciated and “it goes a long, long way.”

This year the Community FoodBank has been distributing more food to needy Jersey families than ever before, about 1 million more pounds per month.

An estimated 650,000 people in New Jersey are food insecure, but the number may actually be a lot higher.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

Rock Stars Who Walked Away and Never Looked Back

Sometimes you've just got to move on. 

The 99 top paying jobs in New Jersey

How much do you make? These are the occupations in New Jersey with the highest median annual compensation. Source: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

LOOK: These Are the 50 biggest retailers in America

Stacker compiled a list of the 50 biggest retailers in the country, using retail sales data from Kantar, provided by the National Retail Federation.

More From Beach Radio