Long Branch: The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties reports that one out of ten people in our county receive emergency food from pantries, soup kitchens and other programs.
Nearly 62,000 people in Monmouth County don’t know where they will get their next meal.
The Providing Hope organization is looking to the business community for help. Providing Hope works through alliances of families, schools, community groups, businesses, churches, municipalities and concerned individuals.
Building on two years of partnership with local businesses at the Jersey Shore, Providing Hope has announced the creation of its HOPE for Hunger Business Alliance.
HOPE founder Rosemary Sherman said more than 50 businesses are now supporting the mission. “This gives business owners the chance to join to address hunger in our community,” she said.
The Alliance raises the visibility of businesses as they can create awareness of conditions in Monmouth County.
Alliance membership fees support community campaigns to find sustainable solutions to hunger such as community gardens where the produce is donated to families, environmental education is provided in local schools, and workshops are offered to encourage residents to grow their own food.
In 2013 Providing Hope, through its HOPE 4 Shore, brought traffic to shore businesses as it raised funds for Sandy relief. Donors to Providing Hope’s Restoring Dreams campaign received a commemorative beach badge to more than 100 businesses who gave them purchase discounts.
“Bringing awareness to our local businesses of the need to give help our community members suffering from hunger was very important to me”, lifelong resident and former Long Branch Board of Education member, Rose Widdis explained.
Providing Hope, a local non-profit founded in 2011, envisions a world for attention to the whole person – body, mind and spirit-leads to healthy and strong communities.
HOPE stands for: Help—Meeting immediate needs; Options—getting to the root causes of problems, solutions, and prevention; Pathways—Coming up with a plan of action; and
Encouragement—Creating a supportive community.
Among Project Hope’s supporters are Master Gardeners of Monmouth County, Long Branch School District, and St. Luke’s UMC.