The purpose of the symposium is to assist food pantries, soup kitchens, social service agencies and churches throughout Middlesex County in being successful providers of food to those in need.
The first part of the evening will be an introduction to USDA programs aimed at low-income residents, and their families. Programs include EFNEP and SNAP-Ed. The relationships between food sources and distributors will then be discussed by two groups who rely on volunteer efforts, the Farmers Against Hunger division of the New Jersey Ag Society and MCFOODS, the County food bank.
The second half of the evening will focus on efforts by some food pantries to create community gardens, so that those they serve will have fresh produce. Advice on gardening practices and composting will be discussed during a tour of the Master Gardeners’ demonstration gardens. A gardening Q & A session will follow.
“Here in Middlesex County, we are committed to better health for all our residents, and providing for those in need,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “This program is aimed at both of those goals. I applaud the EARTH Center for its outreach to local food banks and its mission to bring fresh produce and healthy meals to those who need them most.”
Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the Business Development and Education Committee said: “Food banks, soup kitchens, and similar organizations are so very important to those who need their services. By working together with our Extension Services, we can bring healthier foods to tables across the County.”
To register, or for additional information, call the Middlesex County EARTH Center at 732-398-5273 or e-mail Janice.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS) was created by the Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1994 to help ensure that an adequate supply of nutritious foods and necessities are readily available to Middlesex County residents in need at all times. MCFOODS collects and distributes nonperishable items at no cost to over 80 local food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the County, as well as an additional 25 agencies including: residential facilities, shelters, social service agencies, programs for women and children, senior citizen housing facilities and other outreach services that are also a part of our network. Through all of the agencies in our network, we are reaching a wide variety of people within the County who are in need including low-income families, the homeless, people with disabilities or mental or physical challenges, children and senior citizens. View our brochure.
Tour the MCFOODS Warehouse:
Do you need immediate food assistance?
MCFOODS directory is a resource tool to direct people to an agency in their area that can provide them with emergency food assistance.
We encourage businesses, organizations, clubs and groups to sponsor a food drive and help keep our local pantries stocked. MCFOODS can provide you with a flyer to promote your food drive, containers to store food in throughout your collection and transportation of your donations to our facility. Please refer to this guide for running a food drive for some suggestions for creating a successful drive.
MCFOODS Flyer (Adobe PDF)
Some of the most needed nonperishable foods and necessities include rice, tuna fish, peanut butter, vegetables, canned meats, beans, soup and pasta, as well as personal products, baby items and paper goods.
Individual donations can be made year-round at any of the permanent collection sites located at libraries in East Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen, Milltown, Monroe, North Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainsboro, South Amboy, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, Spotswood and Woodbridge.
Many food drives are sponsored throughout the year by area businesses and civic organizations. You can make a monetary contribution by writing a check made payable to MCFOODS and mailing it to the MCIA, 101 Interchange Plaza, Suite 202, Cranbury, NJ 08512. To find out how you can make a donation or volunteer, call MCFOODS at 732-729-0880 or 609-409-5033 or email the coordinator.
For Emergency Food Providers
The MCFOODS warehouse, located in New Brunswick, is open every Tuesday and Wednesday morning for registered agencies to come in to receive food to help them better serve their clients. Our network meets regularly to share best practices, discuss changes in needs and how we can help eachother operate more efficiently.
MCFOODS and the Community FoodBank of NJ have collaborated in an effort to make more food available for needy Middlesex County residents. In addition to the regular items available at our facility, MCFOODS receives a weekly delivery of a variety of bulk food items that are offered to the agencies in our network every Tuesday and a delivery of fresh produce that are available for our agencies every Wednesday. The items we receive will vary from week to week and will usually be nearing the best-used-by date. Please see the statement from the County Health Department regarding product dating and food safety.
There are many resources available to food pantries and soup kitchens that become members of the Community FoodBank of NJ. The FoodBank can provide agencies with free food, available through the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) and Commodities Program. There is also food available for purchase with a small shared maintenance fee. It is MCFOODS’ goal to help all Middlesex County Emergency Food Providers become members, receive training and have access and transportation to the food and resources that they are eligible for. Please visit the Community FoodBank for more information or contact the MCFOODS coordinator email@example.com.