Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today honored the spirit and commitment of students throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties whose collective efforts garnered 68,000 pounds of food products for local residents in need, especially those impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The food drive was part of The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties “Holiday Hunger Challenge” initiative.
“In the midst of incredible devastation from Superstorm Sandy, these students stepped forward in the face of tragedy and became leaders,” said Acting Governor Guadagno, during the Foodbank’s 6th Annual “Holiday Hunger Challenge” award ceremony. “Their selfless commitment to helping others is an example of the spirit and resolve of New Jerseyans to help others in need. It is both a pleasure and an honor to meet and thank these students personally for their outstanding service to their community and our state.”
The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties distributes approximately seven million pounds of food annually and uses soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters to distribute food to the hungry. In fact, one out of every ten people living in Monmouth and Ocean Counties receives food from The FoodBank.
Superstorm Sandy created a great need among Monmouth and Ocean County citizens. The FoodBank responded by providing food to emergency feeding programs for displaced residents, preparing hot meals daily for churches and civic organizations serving storm-stricken communities, and delivering disaster kits to some of the region’s most hard-hit areas.
“The success of the ‘Holiday Hunger Challenge’ is a testament to the strength and resilience of the residents of the Jersey Shore,” said Carlos M. Rodriguez, executive director of The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. “When I see what these young people have done for their neighbors in need, it gives me hope that the future of our communities is indeed bright and able to withstand current and future challenges.”
Seventy-three area schools participated in the effort, collecting almost 68,000 pounds of food and over $20,000 for The FoodBank.
In addition to collecting food from fellow students, some schools collected food at football games and Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) meetings and reached out to the community and local businesses for food and financial donations.
The following schools received awards today from The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties:
The Alpha School, Jackson, Pounds per Student Champion
Howell High School, Heavyweight Champion
Point Pleasant Borough High School, Early Bird Champion
Brielle Elementary School, Phillip N. Connelly Award
Cedar Drive Middle School, Phillip N. Connelly Award
Colts Neck High School, Phillip N. Connelly Award
Brookdale Community College, Spirit of Giving Award
Brookside Elementary School, Spirit of Giving Award
Eisenhower Middle School, Spirit of Giving Award
Emma Havens Young Elementary, Spirit of Giving Award
Freehold Township High School, Spirit of Giving Award
Goddard Pre-School of Wall, Spirit of Giving Award
Growing Tree Academy of Holmdel, Spirit of Giving Award
Harbor High School, Spirit of Giving Award
Howell Middle School South, Spirit of Giving Award
Lanes Mill Elementary, Spirit of Giving Award
Manalapan High School, Spirit of Giving Award
Marlboro Early Learning Center, Spirit of Giving Award
Memorial Middle School, Spirit of Giving Award
Millstone Primary Elementary, Spirit of Giving Award
Monmouth Ocean Educational Service Commission, Spirit of Giving Award
Monmouth University, Spirit of Giving Award
Nellie Bennett Elementary, Spirit of Giving Award
Tinton Falls Middle School, Spirit of Giving Award
To volunteer or contribute food or financial donations, contact The FoodBank at 732-918-2600 or visit http://www.foodbankmoc.org.
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