Murphy says $20M in CARES funding going to food banks

HILLSIDE, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday he is directing $20 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to food banks across the state.

Murphy announced the plan alongside fellow Democrats Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and Senate President Steve Sweeney at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

Murphy said the money would be paid out to six food banks across New Jersey, with half coming by August and the second half arriving by December.

During April and May, the height of the outbreak in the state, 7 million meals were distributed, according to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. The food bank said that broke a record for distribution, though it's not clear what the previous figure was.

New Jersey got roughly $2.4 billion in federal funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.

Murphy's budget proposes spending more than half of that money on payroll and health benefits for state workers responding to COVID-19, along with aid for schools as well as higher education.