Manufacturing Cares Food Drive tops $700K — here’s how you can donate

Most know John Kennedy as the fierce advocate for manufacturing in the state as the CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program.

Others know him for his philanthropic efforts.

NJMEP’s John Kennedy. (File photo)

This week, Kennedy and his wife, Cecelia Kennedy, personally donated $5,000 to the Manufacturing Cares Food Drive, which MEP sponsors along with the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey and Employment Horizons.

The donation will go to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Fulfill.

The gift was one of the reasons the drive has topped $700,000 since it was formally announced on Manufacturing Day in 2014. Organizers are hoping for more.

“With more than 1 million people going hungry in New Jersey alone, it is not enough,” Kennedy said.

Want to help the cause? Here are four ways to do so:

  • Give money through the Manufacturing Cares Portal;
  • Donate directly to your local food bank or food pantry — you’d be amazed to find out how many of your friends and neighbors did not have a good meal lately;
  • Volunteer you and/or your company to help out — as the COVID crises eases later in the year;
  • If your company makes something that would help, check and send the product directly to those same food banks — Metuchen-based Spex CertiPrep recently donated 5,000 bottles of sanitizer and Kearny-based Kuehne Co. made a huge donation.

The Manufacturing Cares program runs year-round, but Kennedy notes there is a special emphasis from March to October.

“That represents summer and school startups, when the food availability at food banks is draining down, but resources are limited,” he said. “When it comes to giving, always remember: There’s no time like the present.”

Click here to learn how to help.