RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK REOPENS ITS DOORS

Lunch Break’s kitchen staff stands ready to again serve in-person guests. (Lunch Break photo. Click to enlarge.)

(Press release from Lunch Break)

red bank, nj, done good,After 15 months of operating as a take-away facility because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Bank’s Lunch Break is again offering its guests seated meals onsite, the food security and social services resource announced Wednesday.

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RED BANK: LUNCH BREAK PLANS $12M PROJECT

Additional facilities and parking would be created on lots adjacent to Lunch Break’s home on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Lunch Break, the food security and social services resource, announced the start of a $12 million capital campaign to fund an expansion of its Red Bank home Monday.

An addition to its facilities at at 121 Drs. James Park Boulevard is needed “to accommodate the growing needs of the community,” the nonprofit said in an announcement.

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RED BANK: STUDENTS HELP FEED THE HUNGRY

Brigid Hempstead, right, with her twin sister Siobhan and teacher Brian Nesci planting vegetables on the lot last Saturday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

red bank, nj, done good,On a vacant lot in Red Bank, students from Red Bank Catholic High School are mixing the ancient lessons of agriculture with new technology to help tackle food insecurity amid a global pandemic.

They’re also hoping to create a new model for food-sharing.

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SHREWSBURY: LOVE TO RECEIVE KING AWARD

Gwendolyn Love, executive director of Lunch Break, will receive the Dr. King Human Dignity Award at the YMCA’s virtual Dr. King commemoration January 15. (Photo by Danny Sanchez.)

Press release from the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County

2020 was filled with uncertainty and canceled events near and far, but the YMCA of Greater Monmouth County is busy preparing for its annual community celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Like so many other important events taking place during the coronavirus pandemic, the commemoration will be a live virtual event hosted on Zoom, Friday, January 15.
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RED BANK: GIRL SCOUTS OFFER COOKIE RELIEF

Lunch Break clients will enjoy tasty Girl Scout cookies donated by Investors Bank. (Photos by Andrea Plaza.)

[Press release by Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore]

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore delivered a mountain of Thin Mints, Samoas and other flavors of beloved Girl Scout cookies donated by Investors Bank to Lunch Break in Red Bank as part of an initiative to thank local heroes and share comfort with the community during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Lunch Break team members help unload 1,000 ‘boxes of love’ for Lunch Break clients.

One thousand boxes of the tasty treats were dropped off at Lunch Break on Friday, June 26 and will be shared with families served by the nonprofit, which provides food, clothing, life skills and fellowship to those in need in Monmouth County and beyond. Another 9,000 boxes of cookies donated by Investors Bank are being delivered to five other organizations in support of the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund.

The fund was launched to encourage local businesses and other supporters to donate cookies for Girl Scouts to distribute to essential workers, volunteers, and other local causes. So far, more than 90,000 Girl Scout Cookies have been delivered, and with Investors Bank’s donation, the fund will top 100,000 cookies.

Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore is grateful for the $50,000 donation from Investors Bank to share 10,000 “boxes of love with everyday heroes on the front lines of the pandemic caring for our community,” said CEO Eileen Higgins.

“Support for the Girl Scout Cookie Program enables Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore to provide leadership programs and experiences to girls in both Monmouth and Ocean counties,” Higgins noted, adding that Girl Scouts were in the midst of their annual cookie program when the health crisis hit, halting community cookie booths and in-person sales, resulting in a large inventory of cookies.

Gwen Love, executive director of Lunch Break, said the organization appreciates the generous donation of delicious cookies that will be enjoyed by individuals and families.

Five other organization receiving the remaining 9,000 boxes of cookies donated by Investors Bank are:

• Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey, based in New Brunswick. CASA of NJ is part of a national network of nonprofit programs that advocate for children removed from their families because of abuse or neglect.

• Disabled American Veterans Department of New Jersey has 34 chapters and is dedicated to helping create better lives for veterans. They work alongside other nonprofits and advocacy organizations to fulfill their promises to all the men and women who have served.

• HomeFront of New Jersey in Lawrenceville, whose mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring resources and expertise of the community.

• Ocean Mental Health Services, Toms River, which offers a comprehensive continuum of mental health services that promote full participation in community life.

• RWJ – Barnabas – Community Medical Center Campus in Toms River, which is working to advance innovative strategies in high quality patient care, education, and research to address both the clinical and social determinants of health.
Anyone interested in supporting the Girl Scout Cookie Relief Fund can visit, GSFun.org/CookieRelief.

About Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore
Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore serves more than 10,000 girls ages 5-18 in Monmouth and Ocean counties, providing a time-tested leadership experience that inspires and motivates them to take action for themselves and their communities. For 108 years, Girl Scouts has helped girls become women of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. For information on how to join, volunteer, partner, or donate, visit gsfun.org or call (800) 785-2090.

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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VIRUS UPDATE: DEATHS SOAR AS CASES EASE

red bank elm place 040720A woman with her face covered by a scarf speaks with a motorist on Elm Place in Red Bank Tuesday. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAn awful “paradox” was evident as deaths from COVID-19 soared and the number of new cases continued to ease in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy said Wednesday.

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VIRUS UPDATE: ‘FLATTENING’ SIGNS SEEN

murphy mask 040720 1Governor Phil Murphy removes a protective mask at the start of his daily crisis briefing Tuesday. (YouTube screengrab. Click to enlarge.)

[See UPDATE below]

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicAfter a two-day lull, the deaths of another 232 New Jersey residents have been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

At the same time, recent data suggest a possible “flattening” of new coronavirus cases, he said.

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VIRUS UPDATE: COUNTY DEATH TOLL EASES

Monmouth County COVID-19 fatalities

Monmouth County’s COVID-19 death toll nearly tripled last week, but has slowed in recent days. (Graph by Voro.com. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicNew Jersey’s losses in the COVID-19 pandemic rose again Sunday, when the monthlong death toll surpassed 1,000, Governor Phil Murphy reported Monday.

He and a top law enforcement official also blasted attendees of a Rumson lawn concert held Saturday for alleged “vile” comments directed at police.

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VIRUS UPDATE: FEWER DEATHS REPORTED

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topicGovernor Phil Murphy’s administration reported 71 new deaths of New Jersey residents in the COVID-19 pandemic Sunday, a sharp drop from the 200 reported a day earlier.

The death toll also continued to ease in Monmouth County, the state reported.

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VIRUS UPDATE: 200 MORE DEATHS REPORTED

red bank lunch break masks 040320Mask-wearers lined up for free meals at Lunch Break in Red Bank Friday. Murphy singled out Lunch Break for praise in the crisis. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

redbankgreen hot topic

Governor Phil Murphy paused for a moment of silence Saturday after announcing another 200 New Jersey deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RED BANK: MARQUEE TOUTS OPTIMISM

red-bank-basie-marqueeIts lineup of shows canceled under the near-lockdown we’re living with to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank has repurposed its marquee.

The marquee now displays messages of “optimism from our local heroes,” the Basie said in a press release. They include quotes from part-time borough resident Jon Stewart and other New Jersey stars.

More below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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VIRUS UPDATES: BLOOD, FOOD DRIVES SLATED

red bank ymca blood drive 032420No walk-ins will be allowed at the blood drive. Below, an American Red Cross letter addresses safety concerns. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

American Red Cross COVID-19.jpgA blood drive employing “extreme precautions” is scheduled for Thursday in Red Bank to help address a shortage worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A ‘drop & go” food drive will be held at the same time.

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VIRUS IMPACTS: CLOSINGS & CANCELLATIONS

red bank foodtown 031220The paper products shelves at Red bank’s Foodtown were nearly bare Thursday evening. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

Here’s a quick look at some impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on local programming on the Greater Red Bank Green.

This list is far from comprehensive and does not include school schedule changes previously reported by redbankgreen.

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RUMSON: LUNCH BREAKERS BAKE A WINNER

Lunch Break children’s cooking class students Emily and Jack Pearsall with, from left, Oceanic Free Library Board President Carolyn Miller; Cups & Cakes owner Denise Kelleher; and Cups & Cakes pastry chef Maggie Condon.

It wasn’t just the luck o’ the Irish that helped the Lunch Break children’s cooking class take first place in the Oceanic Free Library’s Irish soda bread-making competition.

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