Fulfill continues their good and charitable work for the Jersey Shore community and in their latest act of kindness are donating 1,000 hygiene kits that will be distributed to high schoolers in the Toms River Regional School District, as announced by the district on Wednesday.

They're handing out drawstring bags filled with several items including shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, shaving cream, and feminine hygiene products.

This donation was the brainchild of Erin Leo, who is a food sourcing & nutrition specialist at Fulfill, and wanted to help teenage students, "who may feel hesitant to accept other forms of assistance, obtain these often-pricey personal care items."

It shares a similar mission to their backpack program for students which sends them home with Ziploc bags of shelf stable food that can be eaten throughout the weekend until school reopens the following week.

“I am very well aware that students tend to fall off the [backpack] program as they get older, even as early as 6th grade, and very few high schoolers participate in the program,” Leo said in a statement. “Hygiene items are expensive, and I thought high schoolers might be willing to receive this type of ‘backpack’ over the food ones.”

The pandemic has impacted a number of different ways and some, perhaps, more than others leading to Toms River Schools offering free breakfast and lunch to all students in the district through its food services department.

The Ocean County YMCA partnered with Fulfill in the summer of 2020 to facilitate the Summer Meals Program that Toms River School officials said "directly provided healthy, nutritious snacks and lunches to approximately 5,000 Toms River children."

As a way of saying thank you, some of the students, staff and clubs have volunteered their time and donated food to Fulfill to give back and help those in need.

The Toms River High School East Thespian Troupe #3459, in the spring of 2020, collected and then donated over 300 pounds of food to Fulfill’s #FindFood program as well.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Fulfill to help families in need in our school community,” Toms River Regional Schools Assistant Superintendent James Ricotta said in a statement. “We can’t thank the organization enough for its continued generosity and for providing the hygiene kits to our high school students.”

While Fulfill is largely known for food donations and serving meals to those in need, they also offer a variety of other services that can help you and your neighbors get back on your feet again.

In addition to providing food, Fulfill offers kids feeding programs, mobile pantries, culinary training, Tax Refund assistance, SNAP enrollment assistance, help on finding Affordable Healthcare and other hunger fighting programs.

"As we move towards the end of this pandemic, we want to make sure that people have the skills they need to stabilize their families and the support they need," Fulfill CEO Kim Guadagno told 92.7 WOBM News on January 7. "It's housing, it's insurance, it's food...and food stamps are not what everybody thinks they are. Food stamps are a fabulous, dignified stigma-free way of getting your family the food that they like and need at the same time. If you're family is in stress and you're making about $15-dollars an hour as a single parent, you're eligible for food stamps."

If you are in need of assistance in addition to or outside of needing food and are looking for help with job training or filling out paper work, Guadagno explains that they will help guide you in the right direction and it starts with them reopening their culinary school.


You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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