More than 80,000 people in Monmouth County need emergency food assistance. Many people face hunger every day.
To bring attention to the local issue of hunger, the Monmouth County Hall of Records in Freehold Borough was draped in orange bunting during September.
The effort was part of Hunger Action Month, a national campaign by Feeding America, the country’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. The organization feeds America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks, including the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders proudly supported this national effort. The county’s public awareness support comes just four months after a record-setting, month-long countywide food drive that raised nearly 11 tons of food for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
The sad fact is that fighting hunger is a constant battle. Many people seeking food assistance now are formerly working, middle class families who lost their jobs or are underemployed. Many children wake up and go to bed hungry. Many senior citizens do not have a nutritious hot meal once a day.
You can do your part by buying an extra jar of peanut butter, box of pasta or can of soup on your next trip to the grocery store. Then be sure to donate that item directly to a food bank, your church or a local community group that is helping to provide hunger relief.
If you prefer, you can make a monetary contribution. The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties reports that from every dollar you donate, $0.91 goes directly to programs that fight hunger in our community. And for every $25 you donate, the FoodBank can provide families with 75 meals.
You can also offer your time at a soup kitchen or food bank. A few hours a month can significantly help your charity of choice and can deepen your understanding of the need to battle this hunger epidemic.
I commend the staff of the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold for their “Cabinet of Hope,” monthly food drive program that yields about 400 pounds of food. I also commend our county management team who recently donated hundreds of jars of peanut butter and jelly in memory of Bill Heine, one of the county’s FoodBank advocates and the county’s director of Public Information who passed away this month.
Thank you to everyone who has made a donation as part of Hunger Action Month – and a big thank you to anyone who makes regular donations throughout the year.
I hope that the Monmouth County’s efforts to raise awareness of hunger this September have helped the 127,000 people in Monmouth and Ocean counties affected by hunger. Please keep your level of awareness high and continue to donate food, funds or your time to a hunger-relief charity.
Freeholder John P. Curley
Director of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders