Help Stock Local Food Pantries for the Holidays

Dec 05, 2018

No one should go hungry. But according to Fulfill (formerly The FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties), hunger is still a very real problem here in Ocean County. “Every day, one in 10 of our neighbors does not have enough to eat,” the organization states on its website, fulfillnj.org. “This includes over 21,000 children in Monmouth and 25,000 children in Ocean.”

This month, as the season of giving begins, consider donating to one of the many food banks in the local area.

Residents can drop off donations at the multiple sites at any time during operating hours. Peanut butter and jelly, and proteins such as canned tuna and beef stew, are always appreciated. Personal care products – soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, diapers, toilet paper – are also needed.

Some pantries, like the one at the St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach, have refrigerators and freezers, and therefore can accept perishable items in addition to non-perishable canned, jarred and packaged foods.

Food banks also accept check donations.

Ocean County College, which found, through research, that a large population of college students in the U.S. experience “food insecurity,” opened its Helping Hands Food Pantry earlier this year on the institution’s Toms River campus. Students at the college can stop by the Jon and Judith Larson Student Center on Mondays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., to pick up non‐perishable food and drinks.

While most donations to the Helping Hands Food Pantry are from on campus constituents, including faculty, staff and students, the public can also donate food or financial support. For more information, contact Alison Noone, assistant director of student life at Ocean County College, at 732-255-0400, extension 2138, or anoone@ocean.edu.

Meanwhile, Fulfill lists all food pantries and soup kitchens in Ocean and Monmouth counties on its website, along with hours, addresses and phone numbers. Locate the nearest facilities by visiting fulfillnj.org/get-help/locate-a-pantry.

Food banks in the greater Long Beach Island area include:

• St. Francis Food Pantry, at 4700 Long Beach Blvd. in Brant Beach; 609-494-8861; open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday 4-5:30 p.m.

• Barnegat Food Pantry, at 360A North Main St. in Barnegat; 609-698-7174; open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• St. Mary’s Pantry, at 747 West Bay Ave. in Barnegat; 609-698-7477; open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon or as needed at the rectory.

• Calvary Baptist Pantry, at 850 Railroad Dr. in Little Egg Harbor; 609-296-4606; open Tuesday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.

• Tuckerton Interchurch Pantry, 641 Radio Rd. in Little Egg Harbor; 609-296-1345; open Monday through Friday from 2-4 p.m.

• Greater Tuckerton Food Pantry, 148 North Green St. (Rt. 539) in Tuckerton; 609-294-4777; open Monday, Thursday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon, and also open 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday.

• Ken’s Kitchen, 100 Bishops Lane in Manahawkin; 609-660-9386; open Thursday 10 a.m. to noon

• Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, 335 North Main St. in Manahawkin; 609-597-2696; open by appointment Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Ocean Community Church, 1492 Rt. 72 in Manahawkin; 609-597-5151; open Wednesday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Cedar Run Assembly of God, 562 South Main St. in West Creek; 609-597-3225; open Tuesdays 4-5:30 p.m.

• St. Stephen’s Food Pantry, 367 Rt. 9 in Waretown; 609-698-8561; open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to noon and Friday 10 a.m. to noon.  —J.K.-H.

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