Nonprofit Profile: Fulfill, a food bank for the Jersey Shore

From our print edition

By ROI-NJ Staff
Neptune | Dec 1, 2017 at 9:26 am

Origin

The FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties began in 1984 in Spring Lake, when three people saw hunger at the Jersey Shore and decided to make a difference. After one year, the food bank was serving 25 charities with 100,000 pounds of food. It moved to Neptune in 2001 and distributed 3.1 million pounds of food that first year in the new facility. In 2017, the food bank became Fulfill, has two locations and distributes 12 million meals to more than 300 feeding program partners in Monmouth and Ocean counties, as well as providing life-changing services and programs that get people through the rough patches and back on their way to financial health and independence.

Mission

To alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth and Ocean counties, and making sure that all people at all times have access to enough nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy life.

Goals 

Our primary goal is to close the meal gap in our community by nearly 16 million meals, through a combination of food and resources that provide access to food, and connect families with $17.3 million in wages from job training, tax refunds, SNAP benefits, health care and more.

Programs

Providing over 12 million meals a year to those who need it most.

  • Backpack and Kids Feeding Programs: Providing food to kids on weekends and holidays when school meals aren’t available.
  • Mobile Pantries: Delivering food to pediatric health clinics, seniors and veterans in locations that are not well served by food pantry sites.
  • Free Tax Preparation, SNAP and Healthcare Enrollment Assistance: Providing resources that help families feed themselves and invest in their futures.
  • Culinary Training: Job training that helps adults get permanent employment.

Achievements

  • Innovations such as The B.E.A.T. Center, a food and resource hub in Toms River, created an impact by giving $7.8 million in resources back to the communities hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
  • Fulfill distributed 13 million meals, including 3 million pounds of fresh produce to over 300 feeding programs.
  • Fulfill prepared 140,000 meals for children in backpack, after-school and summer food programs.
  • Volunteers donated close to 28,000 hours last year.

Fundraising

Our primary fundraisers include our two annual events, the Humanitarian Gala and the Culinary Classic. In addition, we have a robust direct mail campaign with targeted mailings to cultivate existing donors and acquire new donors. We have also recently introduced a digital marketing initiative to supplement the direct mail campaign. We also actively identify, solicit, and apply for grant funding — private, government, corporate and family foundations. We also fundraise with our community partners and schools with programs like Students Change Hunger and Check-Out Hunger.

Benefactors

Fulfill receives support from many partners in the community, including schools, faith-based groups, chambers of commerce, small businesses, corporations, retail partners and many other civic and community organizations, large and small.

Ways to help Fulfill include by donating food, funds and/or time. Individuals support us with food and fund donations, planned giving and by joining our Silo of Hope Society. Individuals and corporations support us with food, funds and volunteer hours.

Finally 

Fulfill is formerly The FoodBank of Monmouth & Ocean Counties. The change in our name that was made in 2017 reflects the change in the way we are addressing hunger. We are working to fulfill the greater needs of our neighbors by providing more nutritious food and life-changing programs and resources that get families through the rough patches and back on their way to financial health and independence.

Where: Neptune
Serving: Monmouth and Ocean counties
Key member: Carlos Rodriguez, executive director

Conversation Starter

For more information, please contact Lori Sayde at lsayde@fulfillnj.org or at 732-918-2600.