Fresh produce is available for the taking at the Red Bank soup kitchen. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)


In addition to serving hot meals and opening its food pantry six days a week, Red Bank’s Lunch Break is offering fresh produce for the taking every Tuesday in July and August for the second consecutive year.

Volunteers Martha Young, Betsy Wattley, and Susan Haugenes oversaw a table laden with donated corn, lettuce, nectarines, kale, potatoes, and other fruits and veggies Tuesday morning.

“It varies week to week, but we get a lot from the Red Bank Farmers’ Market,” said Haugenes, a Lunch Break board member. “We also get produce from our garden here at Lunch Break, the Shrewsbury Community Garden, and individual local gardeners.”

“At least a dozen individuals contributed this week,” added Young.

“We’re trying to promote healthy eating as well as local produce,” Wattley said.

One vendor at the farmers’ market learned that what goes around, comes around.

“When I was there, one of his customers heard that he was donating to Lunch Break,” Wattley recounted. “She said she said would be coming back to him every week.”

“We go at the same time every week for donations,” Haugenes said. “Even the guys with the really good cheese and bread have donated.”

Gardeners can drop off produce at Lunch Break, 121 Drs. James Parker Boulevard, on Mondays or Tuesday mornings; leaving a bag outside is fine. The gardeners’ market is from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.