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The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: 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.

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