Press release from Lunch Break of Red Bank

For years, Lunch Break has served as the first line of defense for thousands of residents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and beyond, in the ever-expanding battle against hunger and the ravages of poverty in the midst of affluence. According to the nonprofit organization’s executive director Gwen Love, food pantry distributions have increased by a staggering amount, with more than 750 area families depending on Lunch Break each and every month for groceries — amounting to nearly 400,000 pounds of food.

“Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times,” said Love. “Summer is especially difficult, with schools closed and many people on vacation…but hunger doesn’t close for the summer or go on vacation.”

Between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm on Saturday, May 17, Lunch Break will host the third annual “Foodstock” community food drive at the Red Bank Middle School, 101 Harding Road. The goal this year is to collect an ambitious 50,000 pounds of non-perishable food — and all members of the greater Red Bank community are invited to spend the afternoon enjoying live music, good food,  good friends, and a chance to learn more about Lunch Break and its committed Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers.

The Saturday Foodstock event will include music by the Red Bank Middle School Band, Rockit, and Ardvark Smile — as well as room to dance and enjoy food and beverages. The Community YMCA of Red Bank will have adult and kid’s activities for all, and volunteers will be on hand to weigh the donated food.

Items that are particularly needed for the pantry are: applesauce; apple and orange juice; beans (kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans); broth; canned beef stew; canned gravy; canned low- or no-sugar-added fruits; canned low sodium soups; canned low- or no sodium veggies; canned tuna fish; coffee and tea; low sugar cereals; macaroni and cheese; mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, vegetable cooking oil; pasta and egg noodles, regular and whole wheat; pancake mix; syrup; peanut butter and jelly; rice, both white and brown; salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon pepper, basil, oregano, etc. (for soup kitchen); shelf stable milk; small pouches of juices, and small cans of fruit and vegetables (for the homebound); sugar; Flour; Jello.

Donations can be delivered to Lunch Break prior to and after the May 17 event, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 2 pm, and on Saturday from 9 am to noon.  If you have more than 300 pounds of food — or too much for you to physically handle — please call (732)747-8577 (extension 3106) in advance, and Lunch Break will arrange to have volunteers available to help unload your vehicle.

Another way to help with this year’s Foodstock is to hold a food drive in your neighborhood, school, house of worship, office, or other group and bring the collected items to the May 17 event or to Lunch Break prior to or after the event date.  There are tips for organizing at  Click the Foodstock banner, click on how to donate, and follow the prompts.

“There is no better measure of a community than how it helps its own in times of need,” Danny Murphy, of Danny’s Steak House, recently said at the groundbreaking for the coming and much needed expansion of the Lunch Break facility. Your donation, no matter the size, will help Lunch Break fight hunger. The community needs Lunch Break, and Lunch Break needs you.

Please stop by the Red Bank Middle School on the 17th of May and learn more about Lunch Break.  Have fun and be a part of a great cause!  If you would like more information, visit the Lunch Break website, e-mail, or, or call Lunch Break at (732)747-8577 (extension 3106). Lunch Break can also be found on Facebook, and followed on Twitter.