Thursday, June 1, 2023

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Dec 30, 2021

Chef Lou’s Army Feeding Those in Need Throughout Monmouth County

Chef Lou’s Army is providing tens of thousands of hot, nutritious meals to families in need. The nonprofit’s mission is to prepare and deliver ready-to-eat, free nutritional meals to those most deserving through New Jersey. With many new contributions, team members are looking to provide thousands of meals over the winter.

Chef Lou’s Army (CLA) has numerous new partners including Toms River Council, Assembly of God Church, Presbyterian Church, Just Believe, Dressed and Blessed Thrift Store and Food Pantry. With these dedicated partners, the CLA team can provide extra meals to people in need. Their team continues to work hard to pursue their vision.

In April 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Lou Smith was looking for a way to protect his family, his restaurant staff and his community. With the support from his team, Smith started Chef Lou’s Army to provide frontline workers and seniors with fresh, hot meals.

From there, the nonprofit grew quite quickly. With many local restaurants pitching in and donating meals, the CLA team was able to reach a milestone in its first 50 days. Volunteers were able to donate 50,000 hot meals to first responders, veterans, and seniors in the spring of 2020.

That fall, they planned a “Safe in the Streets” Block Party in Manasquan where all the proceeds went toward providing meals to the frontline workers, and some was donated to another nonprofit organization, A Need We Feed, who provides meal for people in need. The event was a huge success, and Chef Lou’s Army was able to continue its cause throughout the rest of 2020 and into 2021.

As the new year started, the CLA team members got right down to business. They were recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and awarded a $25,000 grant. As well as awarded two statewide grants totaling $950,000 via New Jersey Economic Development Authority to continue serving meals to families and frontline workers. Then, in April 2021, they ran their first annual Golf Outing which became a sold-out event and raised more than $20,000. Tickets for their second annual Golf Outing are currently available.

For more information on Chef’s Lou’s Army, visit or contact