Kim Guadagno is still cutting red tape while she is feeding thousands
By Art Gallagher
N.J. Looks to Award $2 Million to Buy Meals from Struggling Restaurants– A $2 million state program to provide $100,000 grants to organizations that purchase meals from restaurants impacted by the pandemic and distribute them at no cost to New Jersey residents has begun taking applications. Applications are due by Jan. 8. Click here for more information. (ROI-NJ)
I got excited when I read the above headline and lede in yesterday’s NJ Chamber of Commerce’s daily Coronavirus and Economic Recovery Update.
The RAINE Foundation immediately occurred to me as an organization that could spring to action and support local businesses while feeding those struggling to put food on the table. In my mind I was thinking of other community organizations and restaurants that could participate.
My enthusiasm quickly dissipated when I clicked through to Business.NJ.Gov and read the fine print. There’s the usual hoops to jump through for government work–proving your entity is registered with the state and has no outstanding tax issues. But there’s one big obstacle that would probably knock my friends at RAINE, the Highlands Business Partnership, Middletown Helps Its Own and other non-profits from participating in the NJ Economic Development Authority’s grant program.
Tonight in New Jersey, children will go to bed hungry. Contrary to popular notions about hunger in America, most are not homeless. In fact, most New Jersey families that struggle to put food on the table live in households that have at least one working adult.
In Monmouth County, where I live, and in neighboring Ocean County, one in ten residents don’t know where their next meal will come from, let alone whether if it will be nutritious. One in seven of those ten are children. The anxiety and fear of not knowing is what social services agencies call “food insecurity.”
That is why I am beginning a new chapter in my life this week: leading the effort to end hunger in our community as Chief Executive Officer of Fulfill, formerly the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Fulfill aims to not only help our neighbors experiencing food insecurity today, but to provide them with the resources to become self-sufficient for tomorrow. I am excited join a team of 50 employees and 1,400 volunteers whose mission is to “shorten the line” of those in our communities who are hungry.
Proceeds to benefit local food bank of the winner’s choice
Matawan Mayor Paul Buccellato and Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre announced today that they, along with the council members in both boroughs, have engaged in a friendly wager on the upcoming Central Jersey Group 2 high school football championship game between the Matawan Huskies and the Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs.
The Mayors and Councils of the two municipalities have agreed that the losers of the wager will donate $200 worth of food to the foodbank of the winner’s choice.
The game will take place Saturday December 4th at 3pm at Kean University.
“In the spirit of friendly competition, I asked Mayor Bucellato to join me in this friendly wager and I’m glad he accepted,” said Halfacre. “Due to the difficult economic conditions, food banks are being hit with a double whammy: less people donating and more people who need help. If we can have some fun with this and at the same time raise awareness and make a nice donation, I think it’s a win for everyone.”
Buccellato agreed, stating “that economy has had an impact on numerous families in the area” and the two municipalities wanted to do something that would benefit the community. “There is a critical need among the local and regional food banks as they are experiencing unprecedented food shortages,” Buccellato said. “We believe that we can help this need and at the same time support our football teams.”
If Rumson-Fair Haven wins, the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties will receive a donation of food. In Matawan wins, the donation will go to the St. Mark’s Food Kitchen at Trinity Episcopal Church in Matawan.
Anyone wishing to make a donation of food to the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean can call 732-918-2600 or email [email protected] Donations to St. Mark’s Food Kitchen can be arranged by calling 732-591-9210 or emailing [email protected]