Feeding Middlesex County:
November 2022
Impactful Gifting Through Donations
If you’re looking for a non-traditional gift for the holiday season, making a donation on behalf of a loved one is an impactful option. For those friends who have it all, making a donation to Feeding Middlesex County in their name is a perfect gift. To donate, all you have to do is use this link and select "In Honor of" or In Memory Of" from the dropdown menu. You can also mail a check to Feeding Middlesex County, P.O. Box 781, Edison, NJ 08818, including information on how to acknowledge the donation.

If the donation is in honor or in memory of someone, please include their name and email address or other contact information (i.e. mailing address). If you have any questions or would like to discuss donation options, please contact us.
Then and Now
Many thanks to the Middlesex County Board of Commissioners and their efforts to fight food insecurity here in Central New Jersey. Proof of their dedication, as you can see from accompanying photos, are the offices and conference room added to the warehouse that houses REPLENISH, the county food bank, in East Brunswick. This space enhances the efforts of the REPLENISH staff and helps them work more efficiently.

For contrast, you cannot help but look back to the very beginning of the county food bank 28 years ago. Then Freeholder Jane Brady, gathered all the stakeholders fighting hunger in the county. The group formed what became MCFOODS, standing for the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services. A mouthful, right? 

The county offered space in a building in Roosevelt Park, starting with a closet and then graduating to a classroom and finally three classrooms. For approximately five years, food was distributed from that tiny but growing space. As food supplies increased, MCFOODS was able to store additional food at the Middlesex County Improvement Authority warehouse in East Brunswick. A volunteer director, Nora Carlisle from Piscataway, working with Freeholder Brady, organized the first food drives and set up a distribution system. 

The first dedicated volunteers to help sort and distribute food were Ginnie and Bob Okel, Ed Laubach, Dick Johnson and John Hoagloand, They not only worked at the Roosevelt Park facility but they moved with MCFOODS to new spaces.

As efforts grew and the need for food grew, a bigger space was necessary. So warehouse space was leased by the county at two locations on Jersey Ave. in New Brunswick. The current location on Kennedy Blvd. in East Brunswick was utilized starting in 2015

It is noteworthy to point out that one of the original volunteers, John Hoagland, has continued to volunteer at MCFOODS and now REPLENISH, and in addition, he serves on the Feeding Middlesex County board of directors since its 2017 start.

Jennifer Apostol, the director of REPLENISH who previously oversaw the MCFOODS operation, stated: “The new office and conference room space will allow our staff to more effectively meet the ever-growing and changing food needs of our community. The space will also allow us to expand our efforts to inform, educate and empower our partners. We have the opportunity to work with the greater community teaching all to be more knowledgeable about food insecurity, to know how and where to access support, to reduce food waste and to eat healthy. I am grateful to the Middlesex County Commissioners for their ongoing support of REPLENISH and for enabling us to Nourish our Neighbors!”
Thanksgiving Turkey & Side Dish Distributions
This November, FMC was able to spend over $55,000 using donations made by the community, to purchase Thanksgiving food items. Specifically, $45,000 on Thanksgiving turkeys are being distributed to REPLENISH food partners. Allowing us to give out approximately 1280 turkeys to families in need this November. To complete the dinner, FMC allocated over $10,000 to side dishes. These food items include turkeys, turkey stuffing stove top mix, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cornbread mix.

Feeding Middlesex wishes all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. We're so grateful for your support. Whether it be donations, volunteering, reposting our events. We appreciate it all, and hope you have a joyful holiday!
Our Gratitude
A number of donations to Feeding Middlesex County are administered through our donors’ workplaces which in turn utilize third party administration services to complete the donation. Many of these programs involve the employer matching the donations according to their company policy. Although we are informed of the donor’s company, we are often not informed of the donor’s identity. Sadly, we are unable to thank these donors one on one.

So through this newsletter, we would like to thank the “unknown” donors whose donations came via America’s Charities, The Benevity Community Impact Fund, The Blackbaud Giving Fund, Frontstream, Guardian/Your Cause, LLC, Network for Good, Pledgeling Foundation.

And many thanks to the third party administrators that include donor information. These are: Bristol Myers Squibb Matching Gifts Program, Fidelity Charitable, Johnson & Johnson Matching Gifts Program, Merck Gives Back, UBS Cybergrants and Vanguard Charitable.

It is gratifying to know that people want to help Feeding Middlesex County fight hunger and that their employers are encouraging this effort.
Your Talents On Demand
Are you interested in working with Feeding Middlesex County to help in the fight against hunger? Your skills and expertise can mean so much to our organization and the hungry neighbors we serve. Take a look at a few opportunities for you to share your talents:

Bring your creativity, writing skills, and ideas on reaching a wider audience: Our communications committee oversees the monthly newsletter, social media, and updates the FMC website. Check us out and if you think you would like to join our team, please contact us.

Your organizational and financial skills would be a strong asset for our cause: The finance committee is another active part of our organization.  Members seek grant opportunities and work with a volunteer grant specialist to complete applications.  Committee participants also organize fundraising activities.  

You do not have to be a member of our board to serve on a committee BUT if board membership IS of interest to you, we would like to talk to you about that. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

As an all-volunteer charity, we are dependent on our community of very special people who understand the growing food insecurity needs in Middlesex County and are ready to meet the challenge.

How Can You Make a Difference?
  1. Visit our Take Action page to see how you can get involved --> Make an Impact
  2. Volunteer at an Upcoming Event --> Sign Up NOW
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P.O. Box 781
Edison, N.J. 08818
T: 732-723-8106