A vision to create a unique resource hub in Ocean County, New Jersey where families and individuals in need can access food, education and other resources that will help end the cyclical causes of hunger.
The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties
The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties provides emergency food from its Neptune warehouse to 131,000 Monmouth and Ocean County residents - 1 in 10 people - including close to 40,000 children through 300 partner agencies. It runs a culinary training program that provides job skills for living wage employment, a production kitchen that prepares meals for at-risk children and the elderly, and outreach programs that help low-income households access multiple benefits to achieve financial stability. Client services include SNAP (food stamps), free tax preparation and affordable healthcare.
The FoodBank will be operating at the B.E.A.T Center where it will continue the mission to alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Our goal is to feed the food lines while working to shorten them.
JBJ Soul Kitchen
The JBJ Soul Kitchen is a non-profit community restaurant that serves an in-need and paying customer. Diners may pay for their meal by volunteering to work in the kitchen and restaurant, paying diners are able to effect change by paying more than the suggested minimum donation to defray costs of volunteer meals. The menu consists of a choice of delicious, healthy 3 course meals. JBJ Soul Kitchen believes that bringing people together over a warm and welcoming meal helps to build the trust needed to connect them in ways that improve lives. Soul Kitchen is a sustainable model where all are treated with dignity and respect by empowering its volunteer and paying diners. The Employment and Empowerment Team (EET) is a program of the Soul Kitchen that connects a team of 14 professionals with qualified volunteers to aid with resume writing, interview skills, job coaching, financial counseling and legal advice. The EET has an 87% success rate in job offers for those who are under or unemployed.
In response to Hurricane Sandy, the Toms River School system opened the Peoples Pantry in November of 2012. Those who were displaced or were rebuilding their homes could come to the pantry on a weekly basis in order to receive supplies and food. A month later control shifted to Toms River School’s Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA). Within a few months INSPIRE-NJ was created to focus on a wider and more urgent mission, the struggle with food insecurity in Ocean County. The acronym INSPIRE stands for Individuals Needing Support Provided In a Respectful Environment.
Today the Peoples Pantry serves more than 4000 Ocean County families per month, five days per week.