With job and income losses in the COVID-10 crisis, food insecurity is spreading, and Red Bank-area charities are stepping up to help ensure no one goes hungry.
At Lunch Break in Red Bank, for example, volunteers have distributed 65 percent more meals and 56 percent more groceries since March 16 than in the comparable 2019 period, said executive director Gwen Love.
Here’s a starter list of charitable efforts to feed the hungry in Red Bank, with links to make monetary donations. This list will be updated periodically.
All are welcome to a meal at the Lunch Break soup kitchen. Sit-down meals, however, are temporarily suspended. All meals at the facility are now grab ‘n go.
Homebound meals are provided to individuals who require food delivery due to a medical condition. This service is for Red Bank Residents ONLY. Meals are delivered Monday- Saturday, and registration is required. For more information, contact Taylor Oliveras at 732.747.8577 ext. 3013.
In addition, Lunch Break, Parker Family Health Center, HabCore and Interfaith Neighbors are partnering to provide emergency funds to those facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. If you or someone you know needs help with rent, prescription fees, utility bills or other urgent living expenses, please contact the appropriate agency listed below.
Serving grab-and-go meals at 5 p.m. every weekday at its Red Bank unit at 138 Drs. James Parker Boulevard.
As of early April, the club had distributed over 3,500 dinners.
JBJ Soul Kitchen’s Red Bank and Toms River locations are now open for takeout only, and only for the in-need community, at the hours below. Due to food demand, the menu will be limited.
If you are struggling to feed yourself or your family, we are a resource to you. We will be monitoring the food supply situation and assessing our operations on a daily basis. Please check our website and social media for updates (no phone calls please).
Wednesday – Saturday: 4pm – 6pm
Sunday: 10:30am – 11:30am
Monday – Tuesday: Closed
New Jersey Reentry, a nonprofit organization with the social mission to remove barriers to employment for those who have had some form of court involvement, has scheduled a food distribution for 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22.
Organized by Pastor Janet Jones of Shrewsbury Avenue AME Zion Church and Freddie Boynton of the Celestial Lodge next door on Drs. Parker Boulevard, the event will be held in the parking lot between the two.
NJRC recently teamed with the National Action Network and World Central Kitchen to distribute frozen and ready made meals weekly throughout the county. Fulfill (formerly the Foodbank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties) has also been a tremendous partner as well in providing crisis boxes which contain non-perishable items.
The Salvation Army’s food pantry program is still running, business as usual, said case worker and office manager Jesabel Cruz
Food is distributed Wednesdays, by appointment; call 732 747-1626, #404 to schedule. “We have always operated by appointment and now it has become crucial in order to practice social distancing,” said Cruz.
The Salvation Army is “especially concerned about any senior shut-ins who may not have the recourses to deal with this lockdown,” she said.
To help ease urgent community needs, the Community YMCA will host a Drop & Go” Food Drive to benefit Lunch Break on Thursday, April 30 from 3:15 to 8:15 p.m.
Particular needs needs are white pasta, oatmeal packets, canned soup, canned vegetables, canned tuna, peanut butter.
Fulfill, formerly the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, is offering a new tool to help people who need food find the closest food pantries in their area within Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
The “FindFood” text system, the first of its kind in New Jersey and the tri-state area, will help children, families, and seniors access food during the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
The “FindFood” text system will identify the three nearest food pantries to the person when he or she texts “findfood” (no space) in English or “comida” in Spanish to 888-918-2729. Texters will be prompted to give their zip code and will receive responses in their chosen language.
“If you’ve just lost your job and you are struggling to put food on the table for your family, the last thing you want to do is hunt around for a food pantry,” said Fulfill CEO and President Kim Guadagno, the former Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. “Fulfill’s ‘FindFood’ text platform provides our food insecure neighbors with immediate and customized resources.”
Since the coronavirus outbreak in our area began, Fulfill has seen a 40-percent increase in the demand for food and has served more than 364,000 extra meals in with its Crisis Relief Boxes and Restaurant Partnership Program. This food is in addition to the food Fulfill was already distributing.
St. Anthony’s Food Pantry is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. (or until the last person in line is served).
We also have a financial assistance program and we coordinate with other assistance programs. If someone would like to donate, they can mail a check to St. Anthony of Padua and put “St. Crispin House” in the note line. We are a 100-percent volunteer organization, and 100-percent of donations go directly to serve the poor.