“Food for Fines” program at Monmouth County Library in April
More than 80,000 people in Monmouth County need emergency food. The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders has partnered with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to collect food for the entire month of April.
“There is a dire need in our county to feed the hungry,” Freeholder Director John P. Curley said. “Today, most of the new people in need of assistance are formerly working, middle class families who lost their jobs or are underemployed, and the demand on the FoodBank has increased dramatically. I urge all Monmouth County residents who are able to assist during this food drive to do so.”
The main collection points are the 13 branches of the Monmouth County Library, all of which will be participating in a month-long “Food for Fines” program to benefit the FoodBank. Collection bins also will be at the Hall of Records in Freehold and the Agriculture and Human Services buildings in Freehold Township.
Patrons who have outstanding materials will bring their food to the library counter. The libraries will reduce the fines by $2 for every food item donated. Separate bins will be placed in the libraries for people who do not have fines but want to donate food anyway. Non-perishable, protein-rich foods such as peanut butter, granola bars, cereal, canned fruit, canned vegetables, and tuna fish are examples of items suitable for donation.
“When the FoodBank started 25 years ago it distributed 100,000 pounds of food,” said Carlos M. Rodriguez, executive director of the FoodBank. “Last year, we supplied more than 260 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters with almost 7 millions pounds of food. We have experienced a 71 percent increase in demand for emergency food since the start of the recession. The need is here.”
For more information call the FoodBank, (732) 918-2600 or visit www.foodbankmoc.org.