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Mar 01, 2017

Lunch Break Kicks Off Foodstock 2017

By Gena Ansell-Lande

Foodstock 2017 Kicks Off

Lunch Break is excited to launch their Sixth Annual Foodstock event, its largest food and fund community drive. The program will run from March 1 through June 30. Schools, businesses, community groups, and faith-based organizations are encouraged to participate by organizing food and fund drives. “Our goal for 2017 is 100,000 pounds of food,” said Millie Jeter, Director of Administration and Special Events. “As we get closer to the summer months when demand escalates, our goal is to ensure we keep our shelves stocked. We can only do that with the help of the community.”

For the past 34 years, Lunch Break has brought relief to tens of thousands of families who come from every town in Monmouth County, seeking help through its many programs. “We provide a hand up, not a handout,” said Gwendolyn O. Love, Lunch Break’s Executive Director. “Last year, we assisted over 10,500 families with groceries so they didn’t have to choose between rent and feeding their family.  It’s not just food we provide; we look at the whole person, the entire family, and try to meet their needs. We have an employment board, a Suited for Success program, Youth Male and Young Woman’s mentorship program, a clothing boutique, a social services support network, school backpack program, a holiday toy program, and we deliver between 30 and 40 hot meals, six days a week, for those who are not able to leave their homes. What we do best, with the support of the community, is provide hope and help. Our Foodstock campaign ensures we can continue to do both.”

“No Empty Shelves,” is the theme for Foodstock 2017, said Ms. Jeter. Making the list this year for most-needed items are apple sauce, brown rice, canned beans, canned fruits and vegetables, canned tuna, cereal, cooking oil, fruit juice, snacks, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pancake mix, pasta, shelf stable milk, spaghetti sauce, sugar, syrup, toiletries, baby food and diapers, and feminine hygiene products.

While Foodstock 2017 starts March 1, the highlight of the event is the Drop Off Day and Open House on Saturday, June 10 between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. at Lunch Break in Red Bank. “Come on by, drop off your food, and meet us,” said Ms. Jeter. “There will be snow cones, an ice cream sundae parlor, a decorate-your-own-cupcake table, popcorn, and lots of games. We’ll also be giving tours of our facility. This is important to us, so that the community sees firsthand the work we do and the impact they make on so many people who struggle.” If you are unable to make the June 10 Drop Off Day, food can be dropped off at Lunch Break Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

And remember that Foodstock isn’t just about food drives. Many people don’t realize that Lunch Break purchases a great deal of food, as well. Every dollar donated will equal one pound towards Foodstock 2017’s 100,000-pound goal. “We are in the process of securing a match, so that for every dollar you donate toward Foodstock 2017, a donor will match it, doubling your impact,” said Kate McMahon, Director of Development. You can also donate online at, which is an interactive site where guests can “shop” with Executive Director Love, Lunch Break’s very own avatar. For more information about Foodstock 2017, visit or contact Millie Jeter at (732) 747-8577, ext. 3102.