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During times of crisis, people and communities come together to help each other through a number of temporary or long-term situations that require assistance and care.

Fulfill, formerly the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, announced that they are the recipient of a generous grant from Bank of America which can give them another reason to smile in the face of the pandemic.

Bank of America is contributing $200,000 that will be geared to fund Crisis Relief Boxes for Fulfill to distribute at its network of pantries and other feeding programs.

Each box contains thirty pounds of shelf stable food to sustain a family of four for four days.

“The need for food has never been greater. In the last three weeks, Fulfill has served more than 360,000 extra meals. This food is in addition to the food we were already distributing. With unemployment soaring and more businesses closing, we expect the demand for food to further intensify. The generous donation comes at a time we need it most to serve our hungry neighbors. Thank you, Bank of America!” Fulfill CEO and President Kim Guadagno, said.

Guadagno said that the funds will also help Fulfill extend its Restaurant Partnership Program, which began last month in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fulfill partners with local restaurants, Guadagno said, by giving them a $5.00 per meal stipend for each meal prepared.

“Fulfill is a lifeline to those suffering from food insecurity at the Jersey Shore, especially in the current environment,” Alberto Garofalo, New Jersey market president, Bank of America, said. “We are here to support Fulfill’s tireless efforts and ensure they are equipped to continue serving our communities.”

Prior to the coronavirus, Guadagno said that Fulfill was feeding 136,000 people in Monmouth and Ocean Counties per year, including 50,000 children.

They were also distributing 1-million pounds of food each month for families in Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

With many people out of work and a shortage of supplies in stores, Guadagno said that the demand for food is 30 to 40% greater.

In just the past three weeks alone, Fulfill has served 360,000 meals to people.

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