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Hunger & the Pandemic

The extent of hunger in Essex County during Covid is staggering. Many individuals have never had to turn to food pantries and distributions before, but times are different for so many now. About 650,000 people in the state can’t afford regular access to food, according to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

Facts on Hunger
  • Hunger exists in every county in New Jersey.


  • More than 650,000 people in New Jersey --- 7.4% of the population—are food insecure, which means they do not know where their next meal will come from or if they will have something to eat. 


  • Nearly 175,000 children in New Jersey are food insecure.


  • Nationwide, more than 38 million people are food insecure.

            * Source: Community FoodBank of New Jersey 

 If the IFPO Is a Food Pantry, why do you also offer diapers, menstrual care products & toiletries?


Many of our clients receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, which helps them purchase food items including bread, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, and dairy products. But you cannot use SNAP benefits to purchase other essential items such as diapers, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant or menstrual care products. When the IFPO makes these non-food items available to clients, our clients have more of their own funds available to purchase food for their families.

Diaper Dilemma
  • 1 in 3 American families reports experiencing diaper need-- the lack of a sufficient supply of diapers to keep an infant or child clean, dry, and healthy

  • 5.2 million children in the U.S. aged three or younger live in poor or low-income families.

  • Infants require up to 12 diapers per day, toddlers about 8.

  • Disposable diapers can cost $70 to $80 per month per baby.

  • No state or federal child safety-net program allocates dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers.

  • Without transportation, buying diapers at a convenience store rather than a large “big box” store can significantly increase the monthly cost of diapers.

  • Most childcare centers, even free and subsidized facilities require parents to provide a day’s supply of disposable diapers. Nationally, 57% of parents experiencing diaper need who rely on childcare said they missed an average of 4 days of work or school because they do not have enough diapers.

                                          ** Source: National Diaper Bank Network, 2019

Period Poverty
  • One in four women have struggled to purchase period products in the past year due to lack of income.

  • According to the State of the Period 2021 survey of 1,010 U.S. teens who menstruate ages 13 to 19, period poverty “has jumped to nearly a quarter of all students (up from 1 in 5 in 2019).”  • 23% of students have struggled to afford period products. Lower-income students and students of color are more impacted by this problem than their white counterparts.

  • The annual cost for disposable period products is $75-125.


                                              *** Source: Girls Helping Girls. Period.

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