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The New Jersey Farmers Cooperative (NJFC) is excited to announce that it has been awarded a grant to feed the hungry which will result in the distribution of 150,000 meals to food-insecure South Jersey residents.

The grant is provided through the NJEDA’s Sustain & Serve NJ Program– which allocates funding to organizations to purchase meals from New Jersey-based restaurants that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program was created because the COVID-19 pandemic has hit restaurants harder than almost any other industry. Without assistance, 37 percent of New Jersey restaurant owners predict they will have to close in the next six months.

“More than 1.2 million New Jerseyans face hunger every day and with the Coronavirus pandemic, more people than ever are food insecure. We are grateful to be given this opportunity to feed our neighbors. It’s humbling and infuriating to see so many Americans struggling,” said NJFC Executive Board Member, Carolinn Pocher Woody.

The New Jersey Farmers Cooperative will be partnering with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, The Branches Center of Rio Grande, and local school districts among others, to get these meals into the hands of those who need them most. NJEDA-approved restaurant partner Willow Creek Winery has stepped up to prepare the meals.

Barbara Wilde, owner of Willow Creek Winery, who also serves as NJFC Director, commented, “We felt the sting of COVID, like so many Cape May County families and businesses, when we were completely shut down for months in the spring of 2020, so of course, we immediately volunteered Willow Creek’s Tasting Room Kitchen to do the meal prep. We are blessed with a large facility that is capable of handling the task, and we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to serve our community in its time of need.”

The meals will be prepared by Willow Creek Winery staff and community volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the NJFC at director at

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