NEPTUNE – The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (FBMOC) recently received a major boost for its Backpack Program in the form of a $20,000 grant from the Charles Lafitte Foundation (CLF).
FBMOC’s Backpack Program began in 2008 to provide food to chronically hungry children whose families were not able to provide them with sufficient food on weekends when school lunches are not available to them.
“The compassionate philanthropy of the Charles Lafitte Foundation will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of Monmouth and Ocean County children who will not have to go hungry on weekends,” said Carlos M. Rodriguez, FBMOC executive director. “We are very grateful for the partnership of the Charles Lafitte Foundation in alleviating hunger and building food security in Monmouth and Ocean counties.”
Five years ago, the backpack program served two schools and 60 children. Today, it provides weekend food to 600 chronically hungry children through 19 schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties, a tenfold increase in only five years that reflects the growing need for food among poor and working poor families in Monmouth and Ocean counties.
The schools presently served are located in Asbury Park, Freehold, Keansburg, Lakewood, Neptune, Red Bank, Seaside Heights, Toms River and Tuckerton. On average, 32 children at each school receive weekend food through the backpack program.
Weekend food is provided during the 34-week school year. The backpack program distributes 20,400 packages of food – or 81,600 meals – to children who would otherwise go hungry on weekends.
“Hungry children exist in our community despite the availability of food through school lunch programs, local food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens. That’s why we are delighted to support the backpack program – it serves a critical role in addressing the weekend food gap for children whose families cannot provide them with sufficient food without help,” said Jeffrey Citron, cofounder, Charles Lafitte Foundation.
More information about FBMOC is available at www.foodbankmoc.org or by calling 732-918-2600.
For more information about the Charles Lafitte Foundation, visit www.charleslafitte.org.