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Jewish Family & Children's Service Food Pantry

JF&CS' Food Pantry distributes food every Friday at 12 Noon. We are proud to provide 6 - 8 meals each month for 140 families.



Facts About New Jersey

  • The very high cost of living makes it difficult for low-income people to make ends meet. While the Federal poverty level for a family of four has become $20,650 in 2007, a recent study showed that such a family needs over $40,000 to meet its most basic needs in New Jersey.
  • Low wages and high cost of living forces one in every five households in New Jersey to struggle to live on an income below the Self-Sufficiency Standard, that is, inadequate to meet basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, health care, child care and transportation to work.
  • 85% of these households have at least one person working (non-elderly, non-disabled households).
  • 11.8% of children under 18 (over 1 million children) live below the Federal poverty line.
  • One out of every three people receiving emergency food are children.

Is hunger really a problem at the Jersey Shore?

In Monmouth and Ocean Counties, over 127,500 people sought food at pantries or soup kitchens in 2009, an 84% increase since 2005 as a result of the recession.

Who is going hungry?

The people most vulnerable to being hungry are the working poor, children, the elderly, and disabled.

Aren’t most people to blame for their own situation?

Some people think that the poor are to blame for their own situation, because they don’t want to work, are drug users or are homeless by choice. The truth is that 50% of households have a job as their main source of income; another 30% list Social Security or disability benefits as their main source of income. Only 6% list welfare benefits as their main income and only 2% are homeless. Unemployment, the mortgage crisis and spiraling food and fuel costs have increasingly brought middle income people into crisis and into pantries. They are doing the best they can, but are unable to provide for basic needs like food, rent, or health care on their low incomes.  

Jewish Family & Children's Service established a food pantry in our Asbury Park Office in 2007 and joined the Monmouth Ocean County Food Bank in 2009.  We stock our pantry through donations received from individuals, schools, synagogues, youth groups.  As a member of the Monmouth/Ocean Food Bank we are eligible to receive donated federal, state & NJ Department of Agriculture food such as eggs, cheese, fish, meat, produce and canned goods.

How Can I help?
  • Organize a food drive at your school, synagogue, youth group or office
  • Adopt one or more families and put together a food package for a traditional holiday meal.
  • The weekend before the holiday volunteer to sort the food
  • Make up the packages and/or deliver the package to a shut in
  • Adopt a family to provide holiday gifts
  • Donate gift cards for older children at stores or movie theatres
  • Collect the most needed types of clothing, towels, blankets and linens.
  • For a detailed list of projects:  Go to Volunteer Opportunities

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