The sound of crunching leaves and hayrides is sure sign of the upcoming holiday season. But fall is also the time when Lunch Break turns to the compassionate community members to make sure financially insecure families can enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal with turkey and all the trimmings.
With the goal of sponsoring 1,000 families, Lunch Break has launched its Adopt-A-Family Program.
For too many people in our neighborhoods, empty dinner plates are a frightening reality. The effects of the pandemic continue to linger with economic struggles still stressing food pantries. Since March 2020, Lunch Break has seen steady increases in the number of people requiring direct assistance to put food on the table. Grocery pickups and numbers of meals distributed have risen exponentially since 2019 and continue to climb. As of January 2022, Lunch Break already has served more than 64,000 meals and has seen more than 14,000 grocery pickups to date.
“In 2020, we were suddenly faced with more new clients and, our pantry and kitchen – already stressed from continuous modifications during the height of the pandemic – required additional pounds of food to accommodate the influx,” said Kathy Williams, director of Community Engagement. “We often say we could not have continued our mission without our dedicated volunteers, staff, board members and, of course, the generosity of our community.”
The Adopt-A-Family Holiday Meal Program, with Drive-By Food Donation Drop-Off at its location in Red Bank, started in 2019. If you would like to contribute or donate, all you have to do is drive up to the collection point at 121 Drs. James Parker Blvd. in Red Bank and pop open your car’s trunk. The Lunch Break volunteers will remove the items and take down your information if you want a receipt.
Sponsoring a family is simple. Just fill a reusable tote bag with non-perishable holiday meal items such as yams, instant mashed potatoes, canned corn, green beans, gravy, Jell-O, pudding, baking mixes and prepared frosting. Donations will be accepted from 9:30 am to noon on Oct. 18, 20, 25 and 29, and Nov. 2, 9, 11, 15, 19 and 22. Visit LunchBreak.org for sponsorship information. Please direct inquiries to email@example.com.
Lunch Break is a 501(c)3 in Red Bank that provides food, clothing, life skills and fellowship to residents of greater Monmouth County. All Lunch Break services are free. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.