Jersey Shore Schools and Sponsors Provide 100,000 Meals to People in Need During Pandemic
Neptune, NJ – “This year has been incredibly challenging for schools in Monmouth & Ocean Counties. As teachers and students navigated through virtual or hybrid learning, we were not sure if Students Change Hunger would happen this year. It was a pleasant surprise when 49 schools signed up and students, teachers, and parents did not let the pandemic stop them from their annual efforts of collecting food and funds to help feed our neighbors in need,” said Fulfill CEO and President Kim Guadagno, the former Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.
Memorial Middle School in Point Pleasant was announced the 2020 Heavyweight Champion of the Students Change Hunger Competition in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, to benefit Fulfill. The award was for collecting the most food and funds in its division. The winner was announced by Guadagno on a Zoom with the principal, teachers, and students. Memorial Middle School was also the only school in Monmouth and Ocean Counties this year to join the Five Thousand Pound Club.
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PHOTO: Memorial Middle School in Point Pleasant learned of its award in a Zoom meeting
Ranney School in Tinton Falls and Howell Middle School South also placed in the top three schools.
“Each school had to be creative and figure ways to hold COVID friendly food drives. From online donation pages to drive-by food drop-offs, teachers and students managed to make an enormous impact providing 100,000 meals collectively in this competition to feed people in need at a time when donations are needed the most. Congratulations to all our winners and THANK YOU for helping us feed the Jersey Shore!” added Guadagno.
The statewide competition was organized by the Federation of New Jersey Food Banks. The Federation challenged all students, staff, teachers and parents to think of those less fortunate throughout the school year by organizing a food and fund drive at their school, which ran from September 14, 2020 through December 18, 2020. In Monmouth and Ocean Counties, 21 schools received awards for their exceptional efforts to feed our food insecure neighbors:
- Memorial Middle School, Point Pleasant – 2020 Heavyweight Champion, 5,000 Pound Club, Division 4 Award
- Ranney School – 4,000 Pound Club, Division 4 Award
- Howell Middle School South – 2,000 Pound Club, Division 5 Award
- Biotechnology High School – 2,000 Pound Club, Division 3 Award
- Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School – 2,000 Pound Club
- Bay Head Elementary School – 1,000 Pound Club, Division 2 Award
- Lanes Mill Elementary School – 1,000 Pound Club, Division 4 Award
- Manalapan High School – 1,000 Pound Club, Division 6 Award
- Marlboro Montessori Academy – 1,000 Pound Club
- Millstone Township Middle School – 1,000 Pound Club, Division 3 Award
- Monmouth Beach School – 1,000 Pound Club, Division 3 Award
- Sea Girt Elementary – 1,000 Pound Club
- Wall High School – 1,000 Pound Club, Division 5 Award
- Alpha High School – Pounds Per Student, Division 1 Award
- New Road School – 1,000 Pound Club, Division 1 Award
- Home Away from Home Academy – Division 2 Award
- Point Pleasant Borough High School – Philip N. Connelly Award
- Lafayette Mills School – Mary Conlon Spirit Award
- Toms River North High School – Rookies of the Year Award
- Monmouth Regional High School – Student Leadership Award
- W. Mountz – Hunger Heroes Award
The sponsors for this event include: Press Communications, iPlay America, New Jersey Outboards, Irwin Lincoln & Mazda, Freehold Raceway Mall, AJ Perri, Hutchins HVAC, Ryser’s Landscape Supply, and WindMill Hotdogs. A special thank you to Press Communications for its partnership with Fulfill on the Student Change Hunger Competition for the last 14 years.
About Fulfill FoodBank, formerly The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties
Pre-pandemic, Fulfill was feeding 136,000 people, including 50,000 children. Today, Fulfill is feeding 215,000 people, including 70,000 children. Fulfill has served 3.3 million more meals since the coronavirus crisis affected the Jersey Shore.
Fulfill has been providing food for families in Monmouth and Ocean Counties for more than thirty years. We were there to provide food and comfort during economic storms, Superstorm Sandy, and now the pandemic. During the current coronavirus crisis, the demand for food has grown 40%. We expect the demand to grow as more businesses close and families exhaust their savings. Feeding America estimates the demand for food in our area will rise to 56%.
Fulfill feeds children, seniors, veterans, and the working poor. Fulfill serves pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens, provides hot meals for children after school, and sends food home for those same children over the weekend. Fulfill also provides job training with our Culinary Training Program which just started up again with social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions in place.
Fulfill has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for more than ten consecutive years. This distinction means Fulfill, a 501 (c)3 charitable organization, outperformed most charities in America in areas of efficiency, fiscal integrity, and effectiveness. In fact, 95 cents of every dollar donated to Fulfill goes directly to feeding the hungry in our community.
Follow Fulfill on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, and share our posts to help raise awareness about hunger. To donate or volunteer, go to fulfillnj.org. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.