On Monday March 14 at 1:00 pm Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle honored anti-poverty advocates Joyce Campbell, Serena Rice, and Diane Riley on the Assembly floor for their work to combat poverty in New Jersey and enact poverty solutions.
“Whether it’s ensuring that people have the opportunity to earn a living wage, or that children are not going to bed hungry at night or that seniors are able to afford to heat their homes in the winter, we need to take a comprehensive approach to lift people out of poverty in New Jersey," said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle. "These honorees live and breathe this challenge each and every day and have made a marked difference in the lives of families throughout New Jersey. For that, they deserve to be honored during this year’s Women’s History Month."
“This recognition is an incredible honor and I am grateful to have worked with such tireless advocates and to have been inspired by those who struggle to make ends meet," said Campbell, the Associate Executive Director for External Affairs for Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, as well as the Vice-President of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey's Board. "There is no doubt that I have received much more than I have given. And, we won’t give up until poverty is a word of the past.”
On the same day as the three leaders were honored on the Assembly floor, Assemblymembers voted on several pieces of legislation that support poverty solutions, such as increasing the assistance levels for WorkFirst New Jersey recipients, pay equity for women, 1000 new rental vouchers, time limit exemptions for certain people on Emergency Assistance, expansion of EITC, and funding for lead poisoning prevention.
"This legislature has taken up the challenge to make the eradication of poverty in New Jersey a top priority, and I am so privileged to play a part in that effort," said Rice, Executive Director of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. "I deeply appreciate that this honor lifts up not just our work, but the goal we are working toward."
One of those goals says Riley, the Director of Advocacy of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and secretary of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey's Board, is to eliminate hunger in New Jersey. She hopes that today's recognition will help shine a brighter light on the many New Jerseyans who experience food insecurity.
"I'm deeply honored and humbled to be recognized along with my fellow advocates," said Riley. "Hunger is a symptom of poverty. The Community FoodBank of New Jersey joins with me in gratitude knowing this will reinforce our important mission to fight hunger and poverty."