County food drive helps meet spring need
FREEHOLD, NJ – The 30-day
“Our food drive was extremely successful,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “I am very proud of
The final donations of food were delivered to the FoodBank late last week where the final amount was tabulated for today’s announcement. By comparison, the FoodBank’s largest food drive occurred during the last holiday season, when 68,000 pounds of food, or 34 tons, was collected.
“The donations from the countywide
More than 80,000 people in
The main collection points were the 13 county library branches. As an incentive, the libraries offered to erase fines for overdue materials in exchange for donations of food. Collection bins were also at the Hall of Records in Freehold, the Agriculture and Human Services buildings in
“The county library staff did a wonderful job responding to the call and expanding their Food for Fines program to help the FoodBank,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Library. “Many people came to the libraries with food even though they did not owe a fine. We thank all our generous patrons who helped to make this drive a huge success.”
“People who need food are not those who we traditionally think of as the poor,” Curley said. “Today, most people in need of assistance are formerly working, middle class families who lost their jobs or are underemployed. This food drive made a real difference, but I urge everyone to continue to donate throughout the year, because the demand on the FoodBank and other food pantries is significant.”
The FoodBank recommends items such as macaroni & cheese, pasta, powdered milk, dry beans, cereal, canned vegetables and fruits, salad dressings, peanut butter, jelly, puddings, fruit juice and canned tuna fish, chicken, corned beef hash or salmon.
In addition to the need for food, the freeholders selected the food drive as a way to celebrate National County Government Month, which is celebrated every April. This year’s national theme was “Healthy Counties, Healthy Families.”
“The food drive was a terrific way to celebrate National County Government Month and I applaud all of the county staff who worked so hard on this effort, and of course the employees and residents who gave so generously to the cause,” Freeholder Deputy Director Thomas A. Arnone said.
“A big thank you goes to our county employees who donated at their county offices, and to the residents, both of whom donated all month long,” Freeholder Serena DiMaso said. “The library staff should be singled out for extending the Food for Fines program and collecting the bulk of the food.”
“Even though the county exceeded its expectation, it is important to remember that the need for food is constant, and therefore the donations to the many food pantries in
The Food Bank is located at
The Buildings and Grounds staff needs to be singled out for making sure that the bins were emptied on a regular basis and for coordinating the pick-up activities with the staff at the FoodBank,” Curley said. “Teamwork and coordination made this