Collection bins in place for April Food Drive

FREEHOLD, NJ – As the April Food Drive enters its second full week those who donate will have the opportunity to get a little something back in recognition of their generosity. National Library Week is the time when the ‘Food for Fines’ program affords the opportunity for anyone with an outstanding balance for overdue books to have charges forgiven in return for a donation to the FoodBank.

Collection bins are in place at Monmouth County branch libraries and other County offices to accept non-perishable product donations. The drive is part of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders partnership with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to help alleviate hunger.

“Visitors and library patrons may contribute non-perishable, high- protein items whether borrowing or returning a book or attending a presentation. National Library Week is a way to show how living what we learn is put into practice by recognizing there are people who could use some help,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Library System. “The Library System continues to be an excellent venue for supporting the FoodBank. The locations are visited regularly in many towns and it makes sense for them to serve as main collection points for the April food drive”

‘Food for Fines’ permits library patrons who have outstanding materials to bring a food donation to the library counter this week (April 9 - 15). The libraries will reduce the fines by one dollar for every food item donated. Those who visit the library and do not have fines are also encouraged to contribute.

“Assisting those who are hungry with either a food product, a monetary donation, or volunteering is an excellent way to show a commitment that we care,” said Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley, liaison to Social Services. “In addition to the County libraries, there are many convenient facilities throughout the County to contribute to the food drive. Hunger never takes a vacation and the generosity to support those less fortunate is much appreciated. Our contributions help families make ends meet and allow them to meet other day-to-day responsibilities.”

The County has partnered with the FoodBank since April 2012 to collect food donations during a time when donations typically are lower. This year’s goal is to restock the food pantry shelves each spring.

“The FoodBank network serves 132,000 people, including 40,000 children in Monmouth and Ocean counties,” explained Curley. “In addition to distributing food items, it also supports educational courses in schools, and provides outreach services to families who may be eligible for food stamps or healthcare. April is the month when we are called to lend a hand to those in need, including our friends and neighbors.”

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.

Collection bins are 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, Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Belford Ferry Terminal and Monmouth County branch libraries. The branches of the Monmouth County Library System participating include: the Library’s Headquarters in Manalapan, its Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, Allentown, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Wall and West Long Branch.

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The list of donation locations is below.

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
Tinton Falls Fort Monmouth Recreation Center 2566 Guam Lane
Wall Wall Library 2700 Allaire Rd.
West Long Branch West Long Branch Library 95 Poplar Ave.