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The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Job Training

Mission: Our mission is to provide food for as many people in need as possible. To fulfill our mission, the FoodBank solicits, collects, stores and distributes over 5 million of pounds of donated and surplus, perishable and nonperishable food annually to more than 260 area food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other feeding programs. These agencies provide the food directly to children, elderly, working poor adults and families in crisis in their neighborhoods. This food helps low income families remain as self-sufficient as possible by allowling them to use their limited resources to pay for other basic needs, such as housing, medical bills, child care costs or transportation to and from work, while still being able to put food on the family table. In addition, the FoodBank addresses the root causes of hunger by providing Culinary Job Skills Training for people in need of better paid jobs through its onsite kitchen, which also prepares hot meals for at risk children at a local after school program (a Kids Cafe).  The Backpack Program provides food for the weekend to chronically hungry children at local schools. Our Mobile Pantry program, in partnership with the Salvation Army, provides emergency food to people living in areas that are not served by pantries. The Food Stamp (now called SNAP) Outreach program provides eligibility information and application assistance to families eligible for this important national food assistance program. The FoodBank welcomes community partners and volunteers from businesses, schools, civic organizations as well as individuals to help in all aspects of FoodBank operations.

Programs: Emergency food distribution- the core program of the foodbank is the collection of donated and surplus food in its warehouse and the distribution of that food to charitable agencies serving families in need in monmouth and ocean counties. The foodbank served 169 charitable agencies, which in turn operated a total of 295 different programs, consisting of food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters for homeless or abused persons, after school programs for children, and day and residential programs for low income children, the elderly and disabled. While some agencies pick up the food themselves, about 70% of all the food distributed is delivered directly to the agencies on foodbank trucks. Sources of donated food include local food drives and donations, national donations through feeding america, and government food such as the emergency food assistance program (tefap). The foodbank supplements donated food and products with specific food and grocery items purchased through a small bulk co-op program, as well as purchases made with funding from the state food purchase program. Mobile pantry program uses a specially outfitted beverage truck to distribute food directly to people at 16 sites each month, including housing authorities, trailer parks, union buildings, churches and other community sites where existing pantries are difficult to reach. The foodbank operates the senior food package program, also known as the commodity supplemental food program (csfp), which provides monthly packages of food, provided by the department of agriculture, to seniors living in low income housing sites. The backpack program provides backpacks of food, each with 4 weekend meals, distributed on friday afternoons to over 675 children identified by schools to be at high risk of hunger. The program operates at 25 schools throughout the school year. The foodbank participates in the summer food service program, sponsoring the provision of breakfasts and/or lunches to over 500 low income children attending summer programs at 14 community sites.

multiple benefits access program- the goal of the multiple benefits access program is to assist households to access benefits and resources that will help them build income and food security, and is provided at over 20 community partner sites each month. This program includes supplemental nutrition assistance program (snap) outreach, which assesses client eligibility and assists with application submission for food stamps. The volunteer income tax assistance (vita) outreach component provides free tax preparation for low to moderate income households during tax season, ensuring eligible households claim critical eitc and other tax credits. The navigator program provides public education about affordable health care at community events and one-on-one assistance in applying for health insurance under the affordable care act and medicaid/nj family care. The program also provides other forms of assistance including utilities application assistance, welfare and pantry assistance.

culinary kitchen program - the culinary kitchen program provides hands-on training in an onsite kitchen for underprivileged adults in need of permanent employment. The program helps men and women become self-sufficient by providing the skills they need to obtain better-paid jobs. The culinary kitchen program provides hot meals daily for 120 low income children at the monmouth county boys & girls club in asbury park and red bank. The community garden program is a community service run food garden, which harvests fresh produce for pick-up by local pantries serving families in need. Children's programs enable youth groups to visit the foodbank to learn about hunger, its causes, and solutions, or display their works in an art gallery depicting important social themes such as hunger and volunteerism. Volunteer program provides community service opportunities for businesses, civic groups, schools and individuals. Hunger awareness- the foodbank also promotes hunger awareness campaigns with the local media to educate the public regarding the problem of hunger.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Lou G.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fulfill is aggressively providing much needed assistance to our local communities as alway, but especially during the covid 19 crisis. They have a helpful and friendly staff that do great work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a regular volunteer with Fulfill (formerly Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties) and cannot say enough about this dedicated force for good in my hometown area. I see Fulfill's clients on a regular basis and am witness to how Fulfill not only provides them with a wide array of services (an amazing array) but does it with cheer, dignity and genuine caring for each person who arrives for help. In addition to my volunteer work, I was also recently a client - I received expert advice on negotiating the tricky waters of moving from COBRA coverage to the Affordable Care Act. The Fulfill agent helping me was knowledgeable, efficient and truly, truly caring. Fulfill is an AMAZING resource for our area residents.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Fulfill over 4 years ago. I love going in to help our less fortunate neighbors who need help feeding themselves and their families. I have met some of the friendliest volunteers and have made some great friendships while hopefully doing some good for our community. The staff at Fulfill are some of the most dedicated people I have ever met.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Fulfill program had a huge impact on providing our 30 person team with critical hours during the peak period of job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We partnered with Fulfill to provide meals for the Belmar Elementary School. The stipend FulFIll provided graciously covered the cost of goods and labor and prevented us from laying off any employees during this unprecedented time. Furthermore, our team members appreciated and were motivated by the mission to fight hunger and help our community through the Fulfill program.

Our restaurant, MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos consists of a fast-casual restaurant in downtown Asbury Park and a seasonal fast-casual taco stand on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. Like most local small businesses in Asbury Park, NJ, we are heavily reliant on the summer which requires a lot of staff during the peak summer months.

In Mid-March, our downtown Asbury Park restaurant on Cookman Avenue was reduced to take out and delivery only with reduced hours. In the beginning of the lockdown, Asbury Park was a ghost town and we were not sure how we were going to proceed.

Furthermore, our seasonal taco stand on the Asbury Park Boardwalk was slated to open on May 1, 2020; however, in the beginning of May, the entire Asbury Park Boardwalk was closed to the public. There was a lot of uncertainty with our businesses. However, by serving the Fulfill program we were able to keep all of our employees busy while performing a service for our community. The retention of our team members in the spring/early summer was critical to our ability to successfully run our businesses when things were allowed to open up again.

I can honestly say that Fulfill has had a huge impact on the viability of our business and we hope that we have done our part in proudly serving our neighbors through Fulfill in this unprecedented crisis.

Attached please see some of the meals we made for the kids!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the owner of Karson Food Service, my company has worked in conjunction with the Food Bank to help feed children throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties. I have witnessed first hand the passion the employees and volunteers have for the cause of feeding those in need. The staff that we work with are always friendly and positive, even when they're under extreme pressure like during the Covid pandemic. Their ability to ramp up their operation and provide food to people struggling to feed their families is truly amazing to see. Their operation should serve as the business model to which other companies like mine should follow. I am continually impressed by the selflessness of all those involved, always making the cause bigger than themselves. I find it a privilege to be associated with them.

Donor

Rating: 5

Fulfill Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties has been wonderful to work with through the uncertain times of this pandemic. Very communicative, supportive, and always looking for ways that our small chef team can continue to donate meals for those in need. They are essential to our community and hope that more people find ways to help support and donate to their important programs.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our children of the Keansburg Schools have been the beneficiaries of the generosity of the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties "BackPack Program" since May 2008. Through the food distribution program, children have received weekly backpacks of food that carry them through the weekend, thus ensuring that they have nutritious food when not in school. Some of our families are struggling to make ends meet and repeatedly share with us that this weekly gift of food for their children is invaluable. Our school team works to identify children that could benefit from the program and we have grown from 30 backpacks distributed to almost 60!. It indicates the growing need for us to work closely with families to support them in their time of need. Greatful thanks to the wonderful staff and volunteers of the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean County! They quietly do good works daily. Please support them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with the Food Bank of Monmouth/Ocean county. The time I give has been the most rewarding feeling I have ever known. I help on the mobile food truck distribution and it is a joy to work with the Food Bank. Everything is always so organize to the detail. It makes the distribution of the products every easy. And the rewards of knowing we are helping others are unexplainable. You can see it with the smiles on their face. I lavish in their smiles. Going out and helping others who are in hard times and the elderly is a feeling that can not be described. When ever I can put a smile on another face it give me such satisfaction. To be able to help others is the most rewarding feeling I have know and I am thankful that with the Food Bank's help I can do this. Currently I am unemployed due to our economy. I see so many others struggling now and to know I can help make a difference means the world to me. I am so thankful for the Food Bank and all they do. To know the joys that they give helping others and for me to be a part of such an organization is one of the greatest feelings I have ever know. Even when I do return to work I plan on continuing to help the Food Bank any way I can.