RED BANK: YMCA PIVOTS TO HELP IN CRISIS

Crystal Rubins, membership director at the Red Bank Family YMCA, helps staff a food drive to support area residents served by Lunch Break in Red Bank. (Photo by Joshua Reed.)

[Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County]

The YMCA of Greater Monmouth County pivoted immediately when its facilities shut down in March as the COVID crisis started. The gym floors, exercise spaces and pools were vacant, but employees and volunteers jumped into action to respond to critical community needs.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS LEAD FOOD NONPROFIT

Compañeros de Comida 052620.pngCompañeros de Comida includes, from left, Catherine White, Charlotte Stant, Katherine Busch, Brooke Bosonac, Julia Lazarescu, Charlotte Shenman and Margot White. (Not shown: Brett Cetnar Garrett.) (Click to enlarge.)

[Press release from Compañeros de Comida]

 

There is an exciting new community collaboration in Red Bank. Several weeks ago, Lunch Break introduced a community grant program offering families financial assistance during the COVID Pandemic. At that time, Itzel Perez of American Friends Service Committee, Isabel Escalante, a parishioner at St. Thomas Church, Charlotte Stant, a rising senior at RFH and Risa Clay, Tinton Falls councilwoman and retired Red Bank Regional High School principal began working with the Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative (GRBWI) Immigration Committee to help identified families complete their applications.

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RED BANK: STEWARTS DONATE YEAR’S HARVEST

Comedian Jon Stewart and wife Tracey Stewart have donated this year’s harvest from their Colts Neck farm to Red Bank’s Lunch Break to help the nonprofit meet the rising demand for food assistance in COVID-19 crisis. (Video and photo courtesy of Lunch Break. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FRESH TAKE ON FOOD INSECURITY

red bank kitch organicKitch Organic, on Leighton Avenue, is offering donation-powered “Kitch Kares” deliveries of organic groceries, below. (Click photos to enlarge.)

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.

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RED BANK: GETTING FED, AND HELPING TO FEED

red bank lunch break 042020.JPGThe kitchen at Lunch Break remains busy preparing grab ‘n go meals as well as meals for delivery to the homebound. (Photo courtesy of Lunch Break. Click to enlarge.)

[UPDATE: The Parker Family Health has paused its monthly food distribution, so that entry has been removed from this list.]

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.

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RED BANK: GOOD EATING AND SHARING

red bank paradiddle 040820Leandro Batista, co-owner of Paradiddle Griddle on West Front Street in Red Bank, awaits customers picking up orders last week.

Here’s some updated information about restaurant operations in town, as well as a way to help feed healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: FOODTOWN STATEMENT

red bank foodtown produce 031220Nearly empty shelves in the produce department at Red Bank Foodtown Thursday night. (Photo by Matt Anderson. Click to enlarge.)

Foodtown in Red Bank is “working hard” to ensure a steady supply of essential products and has intensified its cleaning and sanitizing efforts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Broad Street supermarket said in a statement issued Friday.

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RED BANK: SCAVONE TO LEAVE RIVERCENTER

scavone menna red bank, nj,Jim Scavone, left, with Mayor Pasquale Menna and Visitors Center director Margaret Mass at the opening of RiverCenter’s offices on Broad Street in October, 2018. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Jim Scavone, who led Red Bank RiverCenter for the past six years, is leaving the downtown promotion organization.

He won’t be going far, though: he’s taking a job at Hackensack Meridian Health at Riverview Medical Center, just on the edge of special improvement district he managed.

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FAIR HAVEN: A DAY OF COMMUNITY

The seventh annual Fair Haven Day once again offered borough residents an evening of food, games, music and community at Fair Haven Fields Saturday.

redbankgreen was there to capture the event in pixels, right down to the spectacular fireworks finale. Click ‘read more’ for additional photos. (Photos by Mariah Woodbury. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: OLD-TIME SODA SHOP PLANNED

FIZZ 081916Fizz Soda Fountain, featuring burgers, shakes and a 1940’s-era soda dispenser, is to replace the Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallThrowing in the towel on the increasingly competitive market for subs, a Red Bank eatery is going old-school.

Canio Paradiso’s Red Bank Sub Shop, at 8 Monmouth Street, which closed for renovations earlier this summer, plans to reopen next month as Fizz Soda Fountain.

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RED BANK: JUST BROWN AND SERVE

Food Network star Alton Brown takes the Count Basie stage for a presentation that just might get a bit messy.

morsels smallThe last time the Count Basie Theatre designated a “splatter zone” in the front seats was during the farewell tour of the notorious melon-mauling comedian Gallagher. But when the TV personality and best-selling author Alton Brown visits the venerable venue this Wednesday night, the patrons in row A (and maybe B and C) will sit duly forewarned — while the plastic ponchos, we are assured, will be “larger and more protective.”

The occasion is the Red Bank whistle-stop of Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science, an audience-engaging stage presentation that the Food Network star is in the process of bringing to some 40 U.S. cities.  Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: JERSEY GIRL’S SHORE FOOD TOUR

deb smith 033016 3Deborah Smith, author of “The Jersey Shore Cookbook,” outside Ama in Sea Bright last week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

morsels mediumThe flavors of the Jersey shore really burst into fullness in the summer, helping to draw millions of visitors to our sun-splashed sands.

Somehow, though, it seems no one had thought to ask the most iconic beachfront restaurants for their top recipes, with the idea of sharing them in book form.

It took a Jersey Girl from Red Bank with an insatiable palate to finally tie it all together.  Read More »

RED BANK: BASIE WHETS THE ‘APPETITE’

jacques-pepinCristianCeppasCeleb chef Jacques Pépin, above, gets things cooking at the Basie this afternoon. (Photo by Christian Ceppas)

appetiteContinuing with the ever-eclectic menu of entertainments that has distinguished and defined its audience-pleasing mission, the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank serves up a new slate of offerings under the “Appetite Chefs” series banner in coming hours and days, starting with a matinee appearance Saturday by the Original Iron Chef himself and continuing next Wednesday by a beloved master of Italian cuisine.

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MIDDLETOWN THROWS ITSELF A FESTIVAL

Middletown DayBouncing back for 2015, the annual Middletown Day celebration brings colorful sights, sounds and savor to the grounds of the township’s Parks and Rec headquarters this Saturday.

Mtown day logo 2015The annual Middletown Day celebration returns to the headquarters of the township’s Department of Parks and Recreation (the Croydon Hall facility on Leonardville Road in Leonardo) for a rain-or-shine afternoon of all-ages activity that commences this Saturday at 11 a.m.

It’s an eclectic event that promises everything from bounce-houses to business showcases; live rock music to rock-climbing walls; touch-a-firetruck ops to petting zoo — plus food and craft vendors, Granny’s Tag Sale, kids’ activities, all-ages hayrides and all-for-fun sporting contests and tournaments.

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LITTLE SILVER: NEW OWNER TRANSFORMS ZOE

081315zoe2Laercio Chamon at the chef’s table at Zoe, where a large window offers a view of the kitchen. Below, an octopus and a watermelon salad.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

081315zoe4With new owner Laercio Chamon at the helm, the once Greek-centric menu Zoe Bistro in Little Silver has a jazzy bossa nova rhythm now.

At 33 years old, Chamon says he’s been working in kitchens for more than half his life, starting as a dishwasher at Doris and Ed’s in Highlands when he was 14.

“I always wanted to be a part of the line,” he tells PieHole. It’s like being behind the scenes of something you see in a movie. There’s something about the adrenaline, the rush.”

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FAIR HAVEN: CAPPING A SPARKLING DAY

061315fhday59061315fhday33Hundreds of Fair Havenites spent the afternoon and evening in the open air of Fair Haven Fields Saturday, enjoying the fourth annual Fair Haven Day, an event begun in 2012 to commemorate the borough centennial.

Kids limboed, danced to the Jukebox Criminals and built ice cream sundaes; adults enjoyed a range of culinary offerings, as well as beer and sangria; and the whole thing was capped once again with a spectacular fireworks show.

redbankgreen was there, camera in hand, to capture the vibe for those who missed it, or just want to relive it. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK RIVERFEST: IT’S A WRAP

052915rivfest30052915rivfest36Scenes from the weekend-long Red Bank Riverfest, which attracted thousands of visitors to in Marine Park Red Bank.

Were you there? Take it past the “read more” to see if the roving lenses of redbankgreen got your picture. (Photos by Susan Ericson, Trish Russoniello and John T.Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: SOAKING IN THE FLAVOUR

rbiff 042515 20042615 rbflavourfest11Thousands of strolling-and-eating springtime revelers flooded the White Street parking lot for the annual Red Bank International Flavour Festival on a cool, partly sunny afternoon Sunday.

As usual, redbankgreen was there to capture dozens of sweet and savory moments. Are you in one of our photos? Check out the full array below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson, Trish Russoniello and John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: FREE CHRISTMAS EATS

church dinner Continuing a tradition of nearly 30 years, the First Baptist Church, above, offers a Christmas Day dinner. JR’s Burgers, below, will offer free meals on Christmas Eve. (Click to enlarge)

jrs burgersAt least two Red Bank operations will be feeding those in need of a hot meal for Christmas.

On Wednesday, Christmas Eve, from 6 to 8 p.m., JR’s Burgers on West Front Street will be giving out free burgers, sodas and fries.

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