For Immediate Release – July 2, 2019
MIDDLETOWN, NJ –Middletown Social Services invites Township employees and residents to participate in Foodstock, a grassroots effort to help those who are struggling to keep food on their table, the week of July 8th-12th.
The effort was started in 2009 in Freehold, NJ when Maura Swisher, a senior at St. John Vianney High School, needed to do a community service project. Maura and her family had a long history of supporting a local food pantry, so she organized a neighborhood food drive and collected 2,000 pounds of food to stock empty shelves.
More than 1.1 million people in New Jersey are “food insecure,” including more than 400,000 children. During summer break children are not guaranteed the well-balanced meal that they would normally be provided through the school system, so Foodstock coordinates this effort in July to ensure that families in need won’t go hungry. Residents are encouraged to support the Township of Middletown’s employees’ efforts to collect food that will be delivered to the Middletown Food Pantry (180 Main Street) and benefit local families.
You can drop off non-perishable food items before July 12th to the following locations:
- Johnson Gill Annex, 1 Kings Highway
- Mayor's Office, 1 Kings Highway
- Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church Street
- Middletown Family Pharmacy, 877 Main Street, Belford
- Middletown Township Police Department, 1 Kings Highway
- Middletown Township Senior Center, 900 Leonardville Road, Croydon Hall, Leonardo
- Poricy Park Nature Center, 345 Oak Hill Road
- Red Light Coffee, 642E Newman Springs Road, Lincroft
- Tonya Keller Community Center, 50 Bray Avenue, North Middletown
Items needed include peanut butter, jellies and jams, rice, beans, oatmeal, pasta, canned vegetables and fruits, stews, chili, granola bars, dried fruits, oils, pancake mix, syrup and shelf-stable milk.
For more information, contact Middletown Social Services Director Kathy Straniero at 732-615-2085.
Foodstock’s mission is to facilitate the movement of food from those who are abundantly blessed to those who are in need, as well as inspire future generations to do the same. They hold a series of food drives in the fall and spring at various schools, businesses, churches and neighborhoods when pantries are bare. Foodstock collects the food, weighs it, loads it onto their trucks and then delivers the food to local pantries. At the end of the “loading event” they have a backyard picnic with live music.
In the fall Foodstock holds its annual food drive/music festival in Freehold. The name “Foodstock” and “Peace, Love and Food” branding was adopted in homage to the famous 1969 music festival near Woodstock, New York, billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”.
Since the organization formed about a decade ago, they have collected thousands of pounds of food and raised tens of thousands of dollars for area food pantries. To learn more about Foodstock, visit www.foodstocknj.org.