Fulfill, formerly The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, is on the front lines in helping its communities cope with the COVID-19 crisis.
According to President and CEO Kim Guadagno, “We have seen an unprecedented demand for food as our neighbors lose their jobs and businesses are forced to close to keep the virus from spreading. In the last ten days alone, Fulfill has provided more than 115,000 meals through our Crisis Relief Box program to our pantries and shelters – a program we just created to respond to these historic times.”
The organization has partnered with restaurants at the Jersey Shore to help meet the growing demand for food. It is paying each restaurant a small stipend of $5 per boxed meal. “This helps keep restaurant workers ‘off the line’ and helps us serve our community when it needs us more than ever,” Guadagno says. Meals are being delivered to schools for pick-up by families.
Fulfill has also set up a Quick Response Team to rapidly address any cases of COVID-19 that may appear within its network. This team has already been put into action when a staff member at a Freehold-area pantry tested positive for the virus. The facility was shut down to be properly sanitized and the Quick Response Team immediately moved food distribution to another location so children in need would not miss a single meal.
“We’ve had to hire a nurse, additional warehouse help and cleaning staff to keep up with the volume. The honoree of Fulfill’s gala, which has been moved to June, also graciously installed a new air purification system in the building to help keep our employees and volunteers safe,” Guadagno explains.
“These are challenging times, and so far, the spike in demand is costing Fulfill approximately $200,000 per week. We expect this to continue to rise as the virus affects more families in our community,” she continues. “We continue to need volunteers. If you or someone you know can volunteer or donate at this critical time, please go to fulfillnj.org.”
To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.Related Articles: