Providing Nutritious Meals to New Jersey's Hungry
Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO, Community FoodBank of New Jersey, to discuss hunger as a health issue and providing nutritious meals to hungry citizens in hopes inspire positive lifestyles.
"For the first time with us, here on One on One, we have Carlos M. Rodriguez, who is President and CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. How you doing Carlos? I'm doing well. Thanks for having me. A quick description of your extraordinary organization. So the Community FoodBank of New Jersey... over 40 years of fighting hunger. But the interesting thing is that we don't do it alone, and we don't just do it by providing food. We work with an army of partners, volunteers, across a number of different sectors, because that's what you need to do when you need to reach just nearly a million New Jerseyans who are in need. Talk about the hunger issue. How bad is the situation today? You know, so it's not getting any better. The economy is. It's not? No. The economy is, but people are still being left behind. And so here's the big misconception that'll put everything in perspective. Many of the families that we're serving have at least one person working. But with jobs coming in and not being enough to meet the expenses, especially here in New Jersey, you have a lot of families who struggle to make ends meet. So on top of that, you have a growing number of seniors who don't... who can't afford to live in New Jersey, or find it hard to live in New Jersey. And you have children who are having a hard time developmentally, and learning, because again, if there's not enough food on the table, you can't be a good worker, you can't have an active and healthy lifestyle when you're older, and you certainly cannot grow and learn the way you should and could. Carlos, as we put the website up, the website of your organization, we've done... we've collaborated before. We've done public awareness, together with you and your colleagues, about the issues you're talking about. As we put the website up, people say... because I've been to your location, pretty extraordinary, describe what is there. Because it is extraordinary. Well, when you think about the problem of hunger, and it reaching and touching close to a million people, and you walk into our facility and you see... Describe it. ...five football fields. Big. Not just our facility in Hillside, but also our southern branch down in Atlantic County, then you start really putting your arms around the problem, and the opportunity to help. Because hunger in New Jersey, in America... very solvable. Very solvable. Why do you say that? Because we don't have a lack of food in our communities. We have a lack of access to that food. Think about it. Give us an example. New..."