Those who are food insecure in New Jersey can get help from local and statewide food banks. The need for assistance has increased greatly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is a list of nonprofits and agencies that offer food assistance as a primary service in Ocean County. A list of statewide agencies follows. These organizations are also in need of volunteers and donations; here are ways to volunteer and make donations.
To add a nonprofit organization or agency to the guide, email [email protected]
1769 Hooper Ave., Toms River, N.J. 08753
The mission of the nonprofit Fulfill is to “alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth & Ocean counties and to make sure that all people at all times have access to enough nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy life.”
To seek help from Fulfill, formerly known as the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, click here.
Meals on Wheels of Ocean County
P.O. Box 610, Stafford, N.J. 08050-0610
Meals on Wheels of Ocean County prepares about 1,200 meals per day and nearly 300,000 meals annually. Meals on Wheels of Ocean County also provides 16 distinct nutrition and senior support services to over 8,000 Ocean County seniors. For more information, go to https://csimow.org/.
Community FoodBank of New Jersey
31 Evans Terminal, Hillside, N.J. 07205 | 908-355-3663
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey works to “fight hunger and poverty in New Jersey by assisting those in need and seeking long-term solutions.” According to the organization’s website, “We engage, educate and empower all sectors of society in the battle. Working together with volunteers, donors and our many partners, we work to fill the emptiness caused by hunger with Food, Help and Hope.”
For those who need assistance, the Community FoodBank offers three ways to access services:
- 1. Text: 908-224-7776. Type “find food” or “comida” — those seeking assistance will then be prompted to enter their zip code to be directed to a resource.
- 2. Website: For the food pantry locator, go to wfbnj.org/findfood.
- 3. Call food assistance line: Call 908-838-4831 would put someone in touch with resource assess team. Team members can help in English, Spanish, haitian creole. We’ve always done that. Have expanded resource access team. Helping people apply for snap is their specialty – connect them to other resources.
For additional information, click here.
The mission of Feeding America is to “feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.” The Feeding America network secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States.
To find a food bank, go to https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank or for more information on food assistance, go to https://www.feedingamerica.org/need-help-find-food.
SoupKitchen411 is a nonprofit organization that purchases “professional quality meals” from local restaurants and serves them at soup kitchens.
In 2015, friends Ken DeRoberts and Phillip Gentile established the nonprofit organization to serve as a hub for anti-hunger advocates to raise awareness about the epidemic of food insecurity in America and as a database of soup kitchens and other places where free meals are regularly served. The free online database at SoupKitchen411.com utilizes interactive maps to provide detailed information such as hours of operation and contact information for 250+ tri-state area, and over 700 national soup kitchens and food pantries. To locate a soup kitchen near you, click here.
In April 2020, amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SoupKitchen411 launched the FeedNJ campaign that contracts bulk meals from New Jersey restaurants to be distributed to their local soup kitchens. FeedNJ is a campaign operated by nonprofit SoupKitchen411 to fight COVID-19-impacted food insecurity and keep struggling restaurants across New Jersey afloat by purchasing nutritious meals from them in bulk that are thereafter distributed to local soup kitchens.
To date, the FeedNJ campaign has served over 35,000 meals purchased from local restaurants which have been served at soup kitchens and collective spaces for free, and plans to expand operations to all 21 New Jersey counties in 2021.
Food Bank of South Jersey
1501 John Tipton Blvd., Pennsauken, N.J. 08110 | foodbanksj.org
The Food Bank of South Jersey “exists to provide an immediate solution to the urgent problem of hunger by providing food to people in need, teaching them to eat nutritiously, and helping them to find sustainable ways to improve their lives.”
A statement on the Food Bank of South Jersey website reads, “During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic altered so much of our everyday lives – how we interact, how we travel, how we learn, how we work. For many members of our community, the impact has been severe. Unemployment. Homelessness. Financial crisis. Health emergencies. An alarming rise in food insecurity – with tens of thousands facing life-altering hunger for the first time.
“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we remained in operation continuously, expanding and strengthening our capacity to distribute record high volumes of food throughout Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem counties. With a focus on low-to-no contact food distributions, including emergency food box drive-up food distributions, we responded to a 200 percent increase in food insecurity throughout our four-county region.
To find food distributions in the surrounding area as well as a list of mobile and pop-up food pantries, click here.
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