The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is continuing its springtime partnership with Fulfill, formerly known as the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean, and collecting non-perishable food for the entire month of April.

This is the eighth consecutive year the County has partnered with Fulfill to conduct the April food drive for protein rich, non-perishable food.

“As the liaison to the County’s Department of Human Services, I am really excited to get involved with the food drive this year and try to make it our most successful yet,” Freeholder Susan Kiley said. “I hope you will join me in donating non-perishable food items that will feed our friends and neighbors who are experiencing hunger.”

The food items that they're collecting via donation include peanut butter, granola bars, tuna fish, ready-to-eat canned meals, canned fruits, canned vegetables, instant potatoes, canned and dry soup, canned pork and beans, canned juices, sip-size juices as well as hot and cold cereal.

Library patrons who have outstanding materials can bring food to the library counter during National Library Week, which runs from April 7 to 13.

The libraries will reduce the fines by $1.00 for every food item donated.

“The Monmouth County Library System is a major public gathering place in many municipalities where residents can use these locations to serve as a key collection point for this food drive,” Freeholder Lillian Burry, liaison to the Library System, said. “During National Library Week, library patrons can have their overdue books and fines forgiven through the popular ‘Food for Fines’ program, a program to get outstanding material returned to libraries while helping with a wonderful cause.”

The branches of the Monmouth County Library System will be participating all month.

Locations include Library’s Headquarters in Manalapan, Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, Allentown, Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Marlboro, Ocean Township, Oceanport, Wall and West Long Branch.

In addition, collection bins will be available at many County locations, including the Hall of Records, the County Clerk’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office, Agriculture Building, Longstreet Farm, Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center and the Belford Ferry Terminal.

Food donations will also be accepted at Made in Monmouth.

“If you plan to attend the free Made in Monmouth event on April 13 at Monmouth University, please consider bringing a donation for the County’s food drive with Fulfill,” Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, liaison to the Division of Economic Development, said. “The one day, shop local event will have food donation collection bins at the entrance.”

The Board of Chosen Freeholders believes the food drive with Fulfill is an excellent way to help achieve this goal.

“Nationwide and here in our County, food bank operations face periods of greatest need between January and August, a time outside of traditional periods of giving and volunteering coinciding with the holiday season,” Freeholder Kiley said. “With the residents’ assistance, the Board of Chosen Freeholders is determined to assist Fulfill in their mission to make sure that ‘Hunger Won’t Win Here.’”

For more information about food assistance and the Division of Social Services, go to www.VisitMonmouth.com.

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