Help for the holidays: Wells Fargo donates $50K to Fulfill food bank

How’s this for an early present for those in need: Wells Fargo surprised representatives from Fulfill, a food bank serving the Jersey Shore, with a $50,000 donation to assist the organization with its ongoing efforts to address food insecurity in the region.

The funding will enable Fulfill, the nonprofit run by former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, to provide 150,000 meals to residents in Monmouth and Ocean counties. The donation is in addition to the $25,000 Wells Fargo previously donated to Fulfill earlier in 2020.

Guadagno obviously was grateful.

Former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno now runs the Fulfill food bank. (File photo)

“We thank Wells Fargo for the additional funding this holiday season, as well as for the support they provided to us earlier in the year to address the critical issue of food insecurity,” she said.

Wanda Saez, senior vice president, social impact and sustainability for Wells Fargo, said the donation exemplifies the bank’s commitment to the communities it serves.

“We are acutely aware of the strain that the pandemic has put on families across the state of New Jersey,” she said. “This donation is a meaningful way that we can help support our community and ensure that no family in our region has to worry about meeting the most basic need of putting food on their tables during the holidays.”

Wells Fargo has a long commitment to supporting people facing hunger through its longstanding relationship with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States, and its affiliate organizations, which includes Fulfill.

Fulfill has served an additional 3 million meals since the pandemic hit the Jersey Shore.

Pre-COVID, Fulfill was serving 136,000 people, 50,000 of them children. Fulfill has seen a 40% increase in the demand for food since the onset of the crisis. Today, Fulfill is feeding 215,000 people, and 70,000 of them are children.

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo launched a nationwide Drive-Up Food Bank program, in which the company helped reach families facing hunger due to the COVID-19 pandemic by working with local Feeding America member food banks to distribute food at some of the company’s branches and corporate locations.

To extend this effort during the holidays, Wells Fargo is directing grants as part of its “Many Hearts. One Community.” holiday campaign to Feeding America food banks around the country — ensuring there is food on the tables for people who need it most — and fulfilling the company’s commitment to help provide 82 million meals to families in need.

Wells Fargo’s “Many Hearts. One Community.” holiday campaign can be found here.

Fulfill, formerly the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, moves more than 1 million pounds of food each month for families in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Fulfill feeds children, seniors, veterans and the working poor. Fulfill serves pantries and shelters, provides hot meals for children after school and sends food home for those same children over the weekend during the school year. Fulfill also provides additional services to help our neighbors improve their overall situation.