Author Archives: Steven Hildner

Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties

The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties 

For 30 Years – Hope Begins Here

The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (FBMOC), located in Neptune, New Jersey, has been serving the community since 1984, when a small group of people saw hunger at the Jersey Shore and decided to make a difference. Thirty years later, the Food Bank distributes more than 10 million meals annually through a network of more than 260 partner agencies in the two counties it serves.

One of the areas hardest hit by Super Storm Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Executive Director, Carlos Rodriguez, calls the recovery a marathon, with many families still struggling and homeless. “It is hard to imagine that people are food insecure in Monmouth County, which is ranked in the top 1.2% of the highest income counties in the United States. And yet, we continue to see remnants of the storm in the faces of the families we serve, who make decisions every day about whether to pay the rent or put food on the table.”

The Food Bank’s mission is to alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Through various programs, like the Child Nutrition programs, the Mobile Pantry, the Senior Food program, Nutrition Education, the Volunteer Garden Center, and the Culinary Skills training program, they are moving toward  their vision of “ a food secure community where all people at all times have access to enough nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy life.”

For more information about the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, visit their website

King of Kings Food Pantry in Manahawkin, New Jersey is supported by the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Janice Dryburgh of the King of Kings Food Pantry estimates that 30 to 40 percent of the more than 1,400 people her organization serves are Hurricane Sandy survivors, many of whom are still struggling. Although the storm was a trying time, Dryburgh recalls how ShopRite rose to the occasion. “They were awesome, donating plastic bags, ShopRite gift cards. Any way they could help, they did.”

While feeding the hungry is top priority for Ms. Dryburgh and the volunteers at the food pantry, she asserts that spiritual food is just as important to her clients. She ensures that  the volunteers make the clients feel welcome, offering them cups of coffee or offering  encouragement.  “I’ll never forget what one woman said to me” said Ms. Dryburgh, “She told me that I showed her that there are people who still care.”

Food Bank for New York City

Mercer Street Friends Food Bank

Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, located in Ewing Township, New Jersey, is the largest distributor of donated food in Mercer County. It distributes 2.5 million pounds of food a year to more than 60 partner agencies, reaching 25,000 food insecure children, senior citizens and adults. Rucha Gadre, Director of Mercer Street Friends Food Bank says, “Because of Partners In Caring, we have been able to sustain the supply line of food and close meal gaps, especially for children, families and the elderly.”

Mercer Street Friends Food Bank has been on the front lines of the fight against hunger for decades, helping the food insecure in its communities since 1987. Their motto is simple, “Good neighbors to those in need,” and yet, their efforts do a world of good to those whose lives they touch. Through their Send Hunger Packing program, in partnership with local schools, they provide more than 500 food insecure children with backpacks of food to ensure they have food over the weekend, when they do not have access to school lunch. Their Summer Feeding program also fills this gap for over 100 children during the summer months. For seniors, they provide boxes of food to over 100 low-income senior citizens through the federally-funded Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Their trained staff provides SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) outreach, nutrition education and hunger awareness education to the general public.

“We are most fortunate to be among the charities that Partners In Caring supports. We applaud ShopRite for supporting the fight against hunger in the communities where their customers and employees live and work,” Gadre said.

Hoops for Hunger

This Thanksgiving, the Harlem Globetrotters joined ShopRite Partners In Caring in its annual hunger awareness event “Hoops for Hunger”. At this Staten Island event, they helped run a “fowl” shooting contest. For each basket a customer made ShopRite Partners in Caring donated a case of turkeys to the Food Bank of New York City.

The Globetrotters event was part of a whirlwind tour this November, as Wakefern’s community relations team ventured all over the region to help provide turkeys to those in need. The team donated more than 7,000 pounds of turkey to Philabundance, 30,000 canned vegetables and 200 turkeys to the Food Bank for Westchester and 2,000 turkeys to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

Since its inception, ShopRite has donated more than one million pounds of holiday turkey to food banks within the communities it serves. This year, ShopRite Partners In Caring donated 60 tons of turkey to local food banks throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland.

To read more about the Globetrotters event, check out this story that ran in the Staten Island Advance: