When the FoodBank had a gap in turkey orders due to the avian flu outbreak and increase in turkey prices, the community was asked to help make up the difference of 2,000 turkeys. Almost immediately, turkeys and monetary donations started pouring in from businesses, retail partners, and individuals and the goal for extra turkeys was exceeded so that no family who requested a turkey had to do without. The FoodBank received 4,000 donated turkeys and distributed nearly 14,000 to partner feeding programs throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties, which many volunteers helped distribute directly to families. An estimated 1 million meals will be provided by the end of November.
“We were so impressed with the donations we received and the lengths people went through to produce them. It was a wonderful expression of kindness and a great example of neighbors helping neighbors in our community,” said Carlos Rodriguez, FoodBank Executive Director. “Business and individuals alike came through in a big way. We had children from St. Peters and Solomon Schechter Schools, the Students Change Hunger Schools and so many individuals who stole our hearts, stopping by the FoodBank on the way home from shopping with extra bags of groceries to donate. We cannot thank our community enough for answering the call for help this Thanksgiving. Together we will work to eliminate hunger not on one day but year round.”
The FoodBank received turkey, trimmings, and fund donations from various groups including food industry partners as well as restaurants WindMill and McDonald’s, and first time local businesses joined the effort. The New Jersey Gasoline C-Store Automotive Association (NJGCA) came several times with cars full of turkeys and cash donations from their members. Jersey Strong Foundation came through with a generous donation to purchase additional turkeys in time for Thanksgiving, and individuals used turkey drop-off locations and stopped by the FoodBank with their contributions.
“To all who gave, we offer our sincere thanks, and are happy that families in need could spend the day at home, enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving Meal. We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and we give thanks to this wonderful community we call home.” said Rodriguez.