MANASQUAN-Blend on Main, one of two Jersey Shore restaurants featured this year on Chef Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back has found a new purpose during the coronavirus pandemic. Chef Lou Smith and Blend on Main have teamed up with Fulfill to feed the hungry. This week Smith and his team prepared 1,000 meals for children in the Freehold school district.
“The Jersey Shore has always taken care of its own. We did it after Sandy, and we will do it again. We are glad to be part of the solution during these uncertain times, but we need the public’s help. We are 87% funded through private donations and we expect the demand to grow exponentially. If you can, please make a donation at fulfillnj.org,” said Kim Guadagno, Fulfill CEO and President and former Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey.
“I have chefs calling me from across the state asking ‘How can I do that?” Chef Smith said.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, several food pantries and soup kitchens have closed due to a lack of volunteers and fear of the coronavirus spreading, but the 136,000 people served by Fulfill, formerly the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, still need to eat.
“We expect the number to grow,” Guadagno said. “To help meet the demand for food with thousands of meals no longer being prepared at these locations, Fulfill, the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, and local restaurants are partnering to distribute food to people in need during this health crisis. Local restaurants will box single meals and Fulfill will pick them up and pay the restaurants a $5 per meal stipend. Fulfill when then distribute the meals through our network.”
Smith made 700 cordon bleu and 300 rigatoni and bolognese sauce. The restaurant also made dinners for the Wall senior center and has delivered meals to many more in need.
“You gotta help your community,” Chef Smith said. “If you can do it, you gotta help, they’ll remember.”
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