HIGHTSTOWN, NJ — FeedNJ, the aggressive campaign to fight COVID-19-impacted food insecurity across the state, received a major boost from the Middlesex County Department of Human Services with a grant of $150,000 with which to purchase nearly 20,000 meals from Middlesex County restaurants.
To date, FeedNJ has served over 35,000 meals in 13 counties across the state, but nowhere more than in Middlesex County, where it has served nearly 11,000 meals at Perth Amboy’s Salvation Army Corps, New Brunswick’s Elijah’s Promise, Woodbridge’s Trinity Soup Kitchen, Perth Amboy’s Renovation House and Edison’s Hands of Hope.
“It is a huge relief to have groups like FeedNJ support our local restaurants while feeding people in need. To date, their private fundraising efforts have resulted in well over $100,000 going back into Middlesex County restaurants, and well over 10,000 delicious meals served to our residents,” said Director of the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners, Ronald G. Rios. “We are proud to give FeedNJ this grant because we know it means more revenue for Middlesex County restaurants and fresh meals in Middlesex County soup kitchens.”
“This Spring, during the first ban on indoor dining, my business was hemorrhaging money and I didn’t think I’d be able to retain even half of my staff, but FeedNJ contacted me asking to buy 1,595 meals and it was like a lifeline in the dark,” said Carlos Rodriguez, owner of Cafe Torres in Perth Amboy. “I love making food and I love helping people in need, but it’s just so hard when your restaurant is losing 80% of its regular business. FeedNJ has continued to buy enough meals from us to enable me to retain all of my staff members while working for my local community.”
“Since restaurants have always been allowed to deliver during the pandemic, most of our losses are not being covered by insurance, and there’s almost no way to make up for the decreased volume in sit-down dining with just delivery, but when FeedNJ calls us to pre-order 300, 400, 500 meals at a time, that can make up for a huge chunk in the deficit,” said Doug Schneider, owner of Tavern on George in New Brunswick. “If we charge $10 or $12 for a certain entree in the restaurant, we offer it to FeedNJ for $7 or $8 because that’s more than enough to cover the ingredients and labor costs, and we are honored to have our meals served to people who need them.”
FeedNJ hosts statewide events throughout the month. However, one Friday each month is a big day of action called #FeedingFriday, in which thousands of meals are served across the state. The August 2020 through January 2021 #FeedingFridays alone served over 7,000 meals.
FeedNJ is operated by SoupKitchen411, a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit with a Platinum rating by GuideStar. To make a tax-deductible donation to support local families and restaurants, visit www.soupkitchen411.com.
ABOUT MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ
Middlesex County is home to numerous Fortune 500 companies, three universities, 18 park systems, and world-class healthcare and research facilities making it one of the nation’s most dynamic regions and a leader in technology, transportation, the arts, and food innovation. As one of the most diverse populations in the country, Middlesex County is home to over 832,000 residents living throughout 25 municipalities and employing nearly 40,000 people. Ranked #1 in the state for best schools, the County offers an award-winning vocational school system, a county college, and workforce development creating a unique ecosystem in which opportunities abound. Conveniently located between New York and Philadelphia, Middlesex County is a leading destination for businesses and residents alike to live, work, and play – and has been since the 17th century. For more information, visit middlesexcountynj.gov and find us on Facebook and Instagram.