Over the past year, THE B.E.A.T. CENTER has provided more than $5 million in support to local families in need
Toms River, NJ (May 10, 2017) – The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Peoples Pantry (INSPIRE NJ) and Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation celebrates the one year anniversary of The B.E.A.T. Center (Bringing Everyone All Together) – a place where families and individuals can access food, job training and resources to help end the cyclical causes of hunger in Ocean County.
This “one-stop shop” serves as a FoodBank satellite location that includes a food distribution center, production kitchen for at-risk children in after school programs, culinary skills training program and resources such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program also known as food stamps), healthcare and free tax preparation, as well as the home of Peoples Pantry, a client-choice model food pantry and a second location of JBJ Soul Kitchen, that serves an in-need and paying customer. Those in-need volunteer an hour of time for their meal while the paying customer donates to cover their meal of those volunteering. Together, in year one, The B.E.A.T. Center partners have:
- Distributed over $3 million in emergency food – 1.8 million pounds – across Ocean County
- Prepared over 21,000 meals, including healthy meals for after school and summer programs for kids, and for diners at JBJ Soul Kitchen
- Helped families access over $1.5 million in benefits through SNAP, Affordable Health Care and tax returns
- Supported nearly $500,000 in job training and empowerment programs
The B.E.A.T. Center has also been embraced by the community in which it serves. Since opening, more than 22,000 volunteer hours have been logged and over 400,000 pounds of food have been donated by community members.
“The numbers, we believe speaks volumes to the enormous need in the community and to the enormous support of the community,” said Dorothea Bongiovi.
“The success of our efforts are in large part due to the embrace, support and partnership of the Toms River and greater Ocean County community. Together, hunger won’t win here!” said FoodBank Executive Director, Carlos Rodriguez.
“It continues to be an honor and a privilege to serve our community. This is our home and these are our neighbors,” said Patricia Donaghue, Executive Director of The Peoples Pantry.
The B.E.A.T. Center is located at 1769 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ, and is accessible by public transportation. For more information and to learn how to help, please visit www.thebeatcenter.org.