Dedicated Food Bank Employee Who Died from Complications of the Coronavirus
NEPTUNE, NJ - - “It is an incredibly sad day at Fulfill, as we lost a champion for the hungry, a dedicated colleague, and a dear friend,” said Kim Guadagno, Fulfill CEO and President and former Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.
It is with profound sorrow that Fulfill, formerly called the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, announces the passing of Diana Tennant on April 6, 2020, to complications of COVID-19. Diana had a long history with Fulfill, starting as a volunteer and donor, and then a SNAP advocate. She became an employee 12 years ago, and most recently worked as part of Fulfill's Resources Connections team. The 51-year old from Bradley Beach was a mother of three adult children who also had a grandchild. Grief counselors were on hand at Fulfill in Neptune today for employees.
“There are many heroes of this coronavirus crisis…nurses, doctors, police officers, firefighters, EMTS, and, like Diana, food bankers on the front lines with the public making sure people who need food and services receive help. Her impact serving the community she adored cannot be underestimated. We will carry on Diana’s mission to feed our hungry neighbors. Our deepest condolences to her family and friends,” added Guadagno.
“This is a time to honor Diana’s memory and continue to do the hard work before us to feed those who are food insecure. Let’s remember her beautiful heart and spirit through our actions,” said Jeremy Grunin, Chairman of Fulfill’s Board of Trustees, during a conference call to employees this morning. Grunin also added that he was starting an Employee Relief Fund to assist struggling employees at this difficult time.
As a safety precaution, the Fulfill Distribution Center in Neptune has been professionally sanitized. Additionally, all who enter the building must wear masks and gloves, and we have a nurse on staff checking temperatures daily before permitting entry to the building. Social distancing is strictly enforced, and everyone must be at least 6 feet from each other. Everyone on Fulfill property has a personal obligation to ensure social distancing.
Fulfill, formerly The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties
Prior to the coronavirus crisis, Fulfill was feeding 136,000 people in Monmouth and Ocean Counties per year, 50,000 of them were children. Fulfill was moving 1 million pounds of food each month for families in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Now, the demand for food is at least thirty percent greater. In the past 18 days, Fulfill has served an additional 170,000 meals to people in need as a direct result of schools and businesses being closed and people losing their jobs.
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 during the school year. Fulfill also provides additional services to help our neighbors improve their overall situation. Fulfill assists with tax preparation, connecting people to SNAP (food stamps) benefits, and with job training in our culinary program. It is important to note that all non-food programs are currently on hold during the coronavirus crisis.
Fulfill has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for the tenth consecutive year. 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, 96 cents of every dollar donated to Fulfill goes directly to feeding the hungry in our community.
Follow Fulfill on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram and share our posts to help raise awareness about hunger. To donate or volunteer, go to fulfillnj.org. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.