FREEHOLD, NJ - The shelves at Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean Counties are fairly empty.
That is why the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is placing food collection bins at 11 County buildings, 13 County libraries and 4 County parks as a way for residents to assist their neighbors in need.
“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 Fulfill 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 seventh consecutive year the County has partnered with Fulfill to conduct the April Food Drive.
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.
“If you planning to attend the free Made in Monmouth event on April 14 at Monmouth University, consider bringing a donation to the County’s April Food Drive,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Division of Economic Development. “This 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.”
Collection bins will also 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, Fire Academy, Longstreet Farm, Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center, Belford Ferry Terminal and Monmouth County branch libraries.
“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 Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Library System. “Library patrons, who have overdue books or outstanding fines, can have their fees forgiven during National Library Week. The popular ‘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 8 - 14). 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 can still donate at these locations.
The branches of the Monmouth County Library System will be participating in the food drive all month. Locations include: Library Headquarters in Manalapan, Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, Allentown, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Wall and West Long Branch.
April is National County Government Month, sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo). NACo’s purpose 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.
Freeholder Curley explains, “Spring is a season when fewer people donate food and funds to charities of their choice. Nationwide and here at home, food bank operations face periods of greatest need between January and August — a time outside of traditional periods of giving and volunteering coinciding with the holiday season. Non-perishable items are requested by families daily, but the most frequently-requested items are those not covered by public assistance programs. April is the perfect time to help those in need and raise awareness of county government functions.”
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2018 Monmouth County Food Drive drop-off locations
Atlantic Highlands Atlantic Highlands Library 100 First Ave.
Allentown Allentown Library 16 S. Main Street
Colts Neck Colts Neck Library 1 Winthrop Dr.
Eatontown Fort Monmouth Recreation Center 2566 Guam Lane
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 Kozloski 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 Election Offices & Special Services 300 Halls Mills Rd.
Hazlet Hazlet Library 251 Middle Rd.
Holmdel Holmdel Library 4 Crawfords Corner 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.
Middletown, Lincroft Thompson Park Administration Building 805 Newman Springs Rd.
Neptune Township Monmouth County Connection 3544 Highway 66
Ocean Ocean Township 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.