By JOHN T. WARD
Kitch Organic in Red Bank plans to roll out a new offering to help fill a void in the COVID-19 crisis: food packages that emphasize fresh vegetables and fruits rather than non-persishables.
The idea: to address rising food insecurity with healthy, organic produce and dairy products, said borough Councilwoman Kate Triggiano, who hatched the idea with Kitch owner Joe Durso.
Dubbed “Kitch Kares,” the program allows a donor to buy a family of four enough zucchini, eggs, citrus products and other items for a week, at a cost of $35. A one-month “family sponsorship” provides four weekly deliveries for $140. All deliveries are free.
Recipients are families identified by the American Friends Service Committee and the Red Bank school district as needing assistance.
Kitch Kares is designed to fix two holes in the way food insecurity is often addressed, Triggiano told redbankgreen Wednesday.
“The first is that many families would benefit from home delivery, as they have medical, transportation, and personal obstacles,” she said. “The second is that most non-profits are set up to provide non-perishables.”
Triggiano said that in thinking about how the two issues could be addressed, she immediately thought of Durso, who had the needed infrastructure: an online ordering and delivery platform, and access to fresh produce. He also has, she said, “a big heart.”
“Joe is a fearless business owner who always gives back,” she said. “He doesn’t get caught on the ‘what ifs,’ and that’s why we organize well together.”
“Helping the community has always been at the core of Kitch Organic’s fundamental belief system,” said Durso, “and now, more than ever, people need access to fresh produce, especially to feed their children.”
“We want to be able to provide a sense of normalcy, during a time of pure chaos,” he said. “Our best defense to all of the nonsense going on in the world is to stay nourished physically, and to spread love and positivity, even when we have lost hope.”
Nonprofits such as Lunch Break, JBJ Soul Kitchen, Fulfill “are all working in overdrive” to help feed the hungry, Triggiano said. The Kitch Kares box “is just another way people can choose to help our neighbors with food insecurities.”
The program is set to start deliveries Wednesday, May 13. To place an order, go here.