FREEHOLD, NJ - The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is continuing its springtime partnership with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and collecting non-perishable food for the entire month of April.
“The challenge of feeding the hungry never ends,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to Social Services. “Some families are struggling to make ends meet and the FoodBank is an invaluable asset in providing assistance. April is when we especially focus our efforts on replenishing their shelves to supply them with non-perishable items that help people get through difficult times. If everyone donates one or two items, we can support a large group of people who otherwise would go hungry.”
This is the fifth consecutive year the County has partnered with the FoodBank’s drive in April. This year’s goal is to collect 12,000 pounds of non-perishable food.
“Hunger never takes a holiday,” stated Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “April is the critical time to collect food items as the FoodBank’s pantry typically runs low after helping people get through the winter. There are many convenient locations throughout the County where donations will be accepted. This is a wonderful way to show our care for those less fortunate.”
Collection bins will be available at many County locations, including the County Hall of Records, the County Clerk’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office, Agriculture Building, Longstreet Farm, Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Belford Ferry Terminal and Monmouth County branch libraries.
The branches of the Monmouth County Library System will be participating all month. Locations include: Library’s Headquarters in Manalapan, Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, Allentown, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Wall and West Long Branch.
“The Monmouth County Library System is a major public gathering place in many communities and it makes sense for these locations to serve as main collection points for the food drive,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Library System. “Residents can contribute canned items whether borrowing or returning a book or attending a presentation.
“Library patrons who have overdue books or outstanding fines, can have their fees forgiven during National Library Week,” said Burry. “The ‘Food for Fines’ program is a good way to get outstanding material returned to the library and help a good cause all at the same time.”
The drive will work this way: patrons who have outstanding materials will bring their food to the library counter during National Library Week (April 10 -16). The libraries will reduce the fines by $1 for every food item donated. People who do not have fines but want to donate food anyway.
The County’s Made in Monmouth event, scheduled for Saturday, April 9 at Monmouth University, is another opportunity to donate. The one-day showcase and shopping festival of products, all made in Monmouth County, will have food donation collection bins at the entrance. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Food items suitable for donation are non-perishable, protein-rich foods such as peanut butter, granola bars and tuna fish. Other most needed food items are ready-to-eat canned meals, canned fruits, canned vegetables, instant potatoes, canned and dry soup, canned pork and beans, canned juices, sip-size juices and hot and cold cereal.
April is National County Government Month, sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo). NACo’s purposed is to increase public awareness of county governments, their operations and services. The County Freeholders believe the food drive is an excellent way to achieve this goal.
“The FoodBank’s shelves are empty,” said Curley. “This month long food drive will help the fill the shelves at time of year when donations are unusually low. There are so many residents in need and we all need to do our part to help our friends and neighbors.”
The list of donation locations is below.
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2016 Monmouth County Food Drive drop-off locations
Atlantic Highlands Atlantic Highlands Library 100 First Ave.
Colts Neck Colts Neck Library 1 Winthrop Dr.
Freehold Borough Hall of Records & Annex 1 E. Main St.
Freehold Borough County Clerk's Office 33 Mechanic St.
Freehold Borough Prosecutor's Office 132 Jerseyville Ave.
Freehold Township Sheriff’s Office 2500 Kosloski Rd.
Freehold Township Monmouth County Agriculture Building 4000 Kozloski Rd.
Freehold Township Human Services Building 3000 Kozloski Rd.
Freehold Township Public Works Complex 250 Center St.
Freehold Township Fire Academy 1027 Rt. 33
Freehold Township Special Services 300 Halls Mills Rd.
Hazlet Hazlet Library 251 Middle Rd.
Holmdel Longstreet Farm Visitor Center Longstreet Road
Howell Howell Library 318 Old Tavern Rd.
Howell Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center 331 Georgia Tavern Rd.
Howell Monmouth County Fire Academy 1027 State Route 33
Manalapan Monmouth County Library Headquarters 125 Symmes Dr.
Marlboro Marlboro Library 1 Library Ct. & Wyncrest Dr.
Middletown, Belford Belford Ferry Terminal 10 Harbor Way
Middletown, Lincroft Thompson Park Visitor Center 805 Newman Springs Rd.
Neptune Township Monmouth County Connection 3544 Highway 66
Ocean Ocean Library 701 Deal Rd.
Oceanport Oceanport Library 8 Iroquois Ave.
Shrewsbury Monmouth County Library Eastern Branch 1001 Rt. 35
Wall Wall Library 2700 Allaire Rd.
West Long Branch West Long Branch Library 95 Poplar Ave.