Tri-State Area’s First Text System to Locate Food Pantries
Neptune, New Jersey, April 20, 2020 – Fulfill, formerly The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, is offering a new tool to help people who need food find the closest food pantries in their area within Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The “FindFood” text system, the first of its kind in New Jersey and the tri-state area, will help children, families, and seniors access food during the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
The “FindFood” text system will identify the three nearest food pantries to the person when he or she texts “findfood” (no space) in English or “comida” in Spanish to 888-918-2729. Texters will be prompted to give their zip code and will receive responses in their chosen language.
“If you’ve just lost your job and you are struggling to put food on the table for your family, the last thing you want to do is hunt around for a food pantry. Fulfill’s ‘FindFood’ text platform provides our food insecure neighbors with immediate and customized resources. We want to make it as easy as possible for people in need to find a food pantry that’s convenient and open… and now, that information is available to them in the palm of their hands. This is a major milestone for food access to all at a critical time,” said Fulfill CEO and President Kim Guadagno, the former Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.
One thousand lawn signs, in both Spanish and English, and billboards have been strategically placed throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties to promote the program. Flyers have also been distributed to Fulfill’s 289+ feeding agencies and elected officials to help Fulfill spread the word about the service, with stickers also being placed on Fulfill’s Crisis Relief Boxes. A social media campaign with the hashtags #FindFood and #comida can be found on Fulfill’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube channel. We want to thank New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal for organizing dozens of volunteers who helped Fulfill prepare the lawn signs.
Since the coronavirus outbreak in our area began, Fulfill has seen a 40% increase in the demand for food. Fulfill has served more than 364,000 extra meals in the past month with its Crisis Relief Boxes and Restaurant Partnership Program. This food is in addition to the food Fulfill was already distributing. Individuals, businesses, and organizations can support Fulfill’s efforts by donating at fulfillnj.org.