According to their Spring, 2013 newsletter to donors - like me - the Food Bank of South Jersey also focuses on educating children and teenagers in healthy food choices, grocery shopping, and cooking styles. I have written my own cooking autobiography - called SECRETS OF A COOKING LIFE - which talked about my personal evolution from a working class Italian neighborhood to a suburban cook who is interested in all kinds of menus. My personal travels and education experiences are in there - such as when I went to college, I was introduced to cottage cheese and fruits, yogurts, and other deli items than way I had been accustomed to.
I made this cooking autobiography available - at no charge - to the Food Bank of South Jersey as a kind of training resource for their own migrant and inner city communities which they serve. They were politely receptive to it.
I'm in a unique position of being a donor, a volunteer, a member agency and now the CEO of the Food Bank of South Jersey. Because of conflict of interest, I'm no longer part of a member agency but I still volunteer and I've been a monthly donor since 2006.
In response to Bob Roberts comment... let me first thank you for your past support. It is only through the consistent generosity of people like you Mr. Roberts that enable us to provide almost 12 million pounds of food a year to children, seniors and working poor families. If I had to give you a visual of what 12 million pounds look like, it's like placing one bag of groceries in every seat in the Phillies stadium but 5.5 times!
You're right that it's sad that we had to trim back some of our programs because of lack of funding. It's the way of life for nonprofits as we struggle each year to raise the funding necessary to keep vital programs like KidsPack running. However, KidsPack was not scaled back simply because of funding, it was replaced by a larger program called School Pantry. KidsPack as you know Mr. Roberts is a weekend meal program for children. We fill children's book bags with 6 meals. The problem we ran into was that the program did not address the food needs of the siblings. So, we decided that a school based pantry would allow enough food for all the children in the household -even the parents. This was a strategic move not a financial one but of course everything is based on finances as with any well-run organization, you want to find cost effective ways to deliver your product or service without compromising quality. School based pantry was our answer to that problem.
Mr. Roberts, as you will see from our 4 star rating by Charity Navigator, we are very efficient with our donor's dollars. We live by a set of Core Values in which financial stewardship is at the top. I take this value very seriously and hold each person in the organization accountable to it. We are a transparent organization and I invite you stop by the organization at any time. We would love to show you around so you can see your dollars in action.
I'm not sure where you are receiving your information but I would hope that as a donor to us, you know that I personally answer any concerns that our donors have about the way we operate. I'm very happy to say that I have a stack of letters from donors but they are stack of compliments -not complaints. Again, I invite you to contact me directly and allow me to give you a true picture of how we use your donation.
Again, thank you for your past support and I hope that one day soon, we will win your confidence that we are making a difference in the lives of so many needy people.
Yours in Service,
Review from CharityNavigator
I am annual anonymous donor to the South Jersey Food Bank for I love their Kids Pack program, but this year they have cancelled the program due to lack of funds. I am sadden to hear this considering they are doing a building expansion project. My donated dollars do not appear to be going to the programs that I endorse. I would be careful about making donations here, excessive spending has caused layoffs and value outreach program cuts.
Review from CharityNavigator