Start spreading the news! Lunch Break is launching its 6th Annual Foodstock event, its largest food and fund community drive on March 1 and runs until June 30. Schools, businesses, community groups and faith based organizations are encouraged to participate by organizing food and fund drives. “Our goal for 2017 is 100,000 pounds,” said Millie Jeter, Director of Administration and Special Events.
For the past 34 years, Lunch Break has brought relief to tens of thousands of families who come from every town in Monmouth County seeking help through its many programs. “We provide a hand up – not a handout” said Gwendolyn O. Love, Lunch Break’s Executive Director. “Last year we assisted over 10,500 families with groceries so they don’t have to choose between rent and feeding their family, or purchasing medicine or paying the electric bill. It’s not just food we provide, we look at the whole person, the entire family and try to meet their needs. We have an employment board, a Suited for Success program, Youth Male and a Young Woman’s mentorship programs, a clothing boutique, a social service support network, school backpack program, a holiday toy program and we also deliver between 30-40 hot meals six days a week for those who are not able to leave their homes. What we do best, with the support of the community, is provide hope and help. Our Foodstock campaign ensures we can continue to do both”.
“No Empty Shelves,” that’s our theme for Foodstock 2017, said Jeter. Making the list this year for most needed items are apple sauce, brown rice, canned beans, canned fruits and vegetables, canned tuna, cereal, cooking oil, fruit juice, snacks, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pancake mix, pasta, shelf stable milk, spaghetti sauce, sugar, syrup, toiletries, baby food and diapers, and feminine hygiene products. Jeter smiled and said that once when she was asked by a young child what kinds of cereal to donate, she replied “What’s your favorite cereal?” Jeter said she encourages young children to bring in their favorite cereal for a child in need.
Whilst Foodstock 2017 starts March 1, the highlight of the event is the Drop Off Day and Open House on Saturday, June 10th between 1pm and 5pm at Lunch Break in Red Bank. “Come on by, drop off your food drive and meet us” said Jeter. “There’ll be snow cones, a ice cream sundae parlor, a decorate your own cupcake table, popcorn and games.We’re giving tours too of our facility. This is important to us so that the community sees firsthand the work we do and the impact they make on so many people who struggle”. If you can’t make the June 10 Drop Off Day, food can be dropped off at Lunch Break any day Monday – Friday from 9am – 3pm and on Saturdays from 9am – 12pm.
Foodstock isn’t just about food drives though. Many people don’t realize Lunch Break purchases a great deal of food. Every dollar donated will equal one pound towards Foodstock 2017’s 100,000 goal. “We are in the process of securing a match – so that for every dollar you donate towards Foodstock 2017, a donor will match it, doubling your impact” said Kate McMahon, Director of Development. You can also donate on line at www.lunchbreak.org/