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.