TRENTON - Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D-Monmouth), chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, released the following statement on the recent federal approval of the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ plan to provide $248 million in special food assistance benefits to nearly 600,000 children who receive free or reduced-price school meals:
“One in eight children in New Jersey is food insecure, meaning they do not have consistent access to enough meals. Many of these children are eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch during the school day. With schools closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and more families suffering economic hardship, it’s likely too many children don’t have enough to eat.
"No child should ever go hungry. That’s why I’m thrilled the Department of Human Services will be able to provide direct assistance to the families of children who normally receive free or reduced meals. This assistance will go a long way in ensuring children in need have access to nutritious food during this challenging time. The pandemic has not changed our commitment to fighting hunger across New Jersey.”