2020 ANNUAL REPORT

JANE Z. BRADY, Chair

letter from the chair

INCREDIBLE CHALLENGE. INCREDIBLE RESPONSE.

How does one summarize 2020, a pandemic year in the United States?

Despite the circumstances, Feeding Middlesex County had an INCREDIBLE response throughout the year. Here are just a few to highlight;

  • More than 1,100 unique donors

  • Increase of 307% in cash donations totalling over $364,000

  • Significant increase in repeat donors

  • Increase of 165% in In-kind donations totalling over $144,000

All without holding a single, in-person event due to the pandemic is truly INCREDIBLE!

Feeding Middlesex County experienced an outpouring of support both from within Middlesex County and from outside the County. The generosity of our supporters enabled Feeding Middlesex County to purchase food throughout 2020 for the county food bank, MCFOODS. In turn your support has provided over 140 pantries, soup kitchens and social service organizations with supplemental necessities and made food available to all during this YEAR OF INCREDIBLE NEED.

Feeding Middlesex County thanks every single donor, every organization and every company who contributed during 2020. Our mission is to financially support organizations that feed the hungry in Middlesex County and this would be impossible to accomplish without all this support. What generous people! We are honored by your trust in this organization.

Now, we look ahead to the ongoing need in 2021. Feeding Middlesex County will continue to seek partnerships to expand our base of support as we strive to achieve our vision to eliminate food insecurity in Middlesex County.

Jane Z. Brady

OUR INCREDIBLE NEED

2020 was a crucial year for Feeding Middlesex County. Food insecurity grew in Middlesex County. Our partner, MCFOODS, the county food bank, experienced an increase in the need for food as more of our neighbors were unemployed and children were schooling virtually. In order to fill the empty shelves at MCFOODS, Feeding Middlesex County’s board and volunteers were determined to secure monetary as well as food donations to meet the needs of the 140 food pantries, soup kitchens, community centers and social service agencies reliant on the county food bank. Close to 97% of the funds raised by Feeding Middlesex County goes directly to the purchase of food and necessary items for the county food bank.


According to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, more than 12% (approx. 98,400 residents) of our county are now food insecure. There had been a downward trend in food insecurity in previous years, but the impact of the Coronavirus reversed this trend with the Middlesex County food insecurity number going from 7.3% to more than 12%.


Feeding Middlesex County had to keep up with demands while abiding by COVID-19 restrictions. Through our website, electronic newsletter, social media and specific email campaigns, we were able to explain the difficulties residents of Middlesex County were facing and individuals, businesses and organizations resoundingly answered our requests. We saw an uptick in both monetary donations and in-kind food donations.


Feeding Middlesex County also partnered with MCFOODS and local organizations to promote drive-by food collections, virtual events and ongoing food pick-ups. These new protocols helped us serve in new ways to ensure safety, efficiency and well-stocked shelves at the county food bank.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jane Z. brady

CHAIR

Former Middlesex County Freeholder

jane leal

VICE CHAIR

Retired County Authority Administrator

margaret pemberton

SECRETARY

Retired Middlesex County Freeholder Clerk

ANGIE TSIRKAS

TREASURER

JAN - AUG

Northfield Bank

GARY KARLIN

TREASURER

AUG - DEC

Retired Institutional Investor

MARYROSE AGEL

Registered Dietician

YAMILLE CHAVES

Provident Bank

JIM GIAMARESE

Giamarese Farms &

Farmers Against Hunger

JOHN HOAGLAND

Retired Educator

CHARLES KENNY

Middlesex County Freeholder

LILLIAN KOZLA

Retired Educator

AMY MICHAEL

Rutgers Collaborative Center for Community-Based Research and Services

GANESH RAMAKRISHNAN

Software Engineer

STU SCHWARTZ

Retired Pharmacist & Businessman

NEIL WOLF

Retired Pharmaceutical Marketer

DARIA ANNE VENEZIA

Counsel

COMMITTEES

Feeding Middlesex County's committees are comprised of board members as well as volunteers from the community. In addition to the Finance and Communications committees, there are committees to plan and execute events, both in person and virtually. Our committee members are creative and motivated, and their work involves teamwork and dedicated community service.

OUR MISSION

Feeding Middlesex County financially supports organizations that feed the hungry.


We raise funds to purchase food and equipment to assist qualifying agencies in procuring, storing, preserving and transporting food and other necessary items to our food insecure neighbors.

OUR VISION

To end food insecurity in Middlesex County.

OUR PROCESS

Donations to Feeding Middlesex County result in the purchase of food that is distributed to 140 different food providers in all 25 municipalities in Middlesex County. In turn, these providers distribute food to families, seniors and the disabled.

All agencies eligible for assistance from Feeding Middlesex County must be 501(c)3 organizations, related to houses of worship, schools or local governments.

We conduct significant due diligence to assure support goes to appropriate organizations, so our partners can have confidence that their support is going directly to the cause.

View the agencies that we support and find one in your community using our interactive spreadsheet below.

2020_FMC_OrganizationsPantries

FINANCIAL REPORT

We would like to thank the donors who have financially supported Feeding Middlesex County in 2020. Your donations during this pandemic year were crucial to our ability to meet the increasing need for food at local food pantries, community centers and other organizations throughout Middlesex County.

OUR VOLUNTEERS IN ENDING HUNGER

Together we are fighting hunger in Middlesex County. Our volunteers are essential to what we do at Feeding Middlesex County. Before COVID-19 restrictions, volunteers assisted in sorting and packing up food for distribution. During COVID-19 restrictions, volunteers came out in force throughout the year to drive-by food drives to assist with collecting and packing food for transit to the MCFOODS warehouse. To meet the increased need of the community, the MCFOODS warehouse increased their distribution from 2 days a week to 5 days a week. In turn, volunteers from the 140 food pantries spent many extra hours collecting from the warehouse and many extra hours at their own facilities distributing food to fight hunger in Middlesex County.

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Early into the pandemic when masks were hard to find, Board Member Margaret Pemberton and a team of sewists created 5,918 masks that were distributed to county residents, schools, churches and other facilities. The mask styles changed as the group absorbed feedback from users. At the same time, many who received the masks became contributors to Feeding Middlesex County, and the masks became an effective fundraising project that operated within proper social distancing restrictions.

Local artist Isabelle Goldman, who has volunteered at the county food bank in the past, created her own fundraising campaign by offering to create 8"x10" oil paintings on canvas in exchange for donations to Feeding Middlesex County. Below are some copies of her work. Additionally, she was able to complete larger custom paintings. Her volunteering in this way was a wonderful activity during the COVID-19 restrictions and the response was enthusiastic to say the least.

OUR EVENTS

Live events in 2020 were almost non existent due to COVID-19 protocols. It was our intention to keep our popular events going such as; Dine Below the Line and the Walk to End Hunger. Each will be presented in formats that respect the necessary social distancing.

CRAIG COUGHLIN

NJ State Assembly Speaker

JENNIFER APOSTOL

MCFOODS Director

TOM ELLISON

Late MCFOODS Warehouse Manager

OUR PARTNERS IN ENDING HUNGER

We would like to thank our partners who have donated supplies, food and money in support of our effort to alleviate food insecurity throughout the County. These partners consist of individuals, small businesses, major corporations, civic groups, faith-based groups and a number of children's teams and clubs. It was also a year when some donors signed on as monthly contributors to Feeding Middlesex County.


Board of Chosen Freeholders

Ronald G. Rios, Director

Kenneth Armwood, Deputy Director

Claribel A. Azcona-Barber

Charles Kenny

Leslie Koppel

Shanti Narra

Charles E. Tomaro


Board of Commissioners

James P. Nolan, Chairman

Anthony Raczynski, Vice Chairman

Paul Abbey, Secretary-Treasurer

Christine D'Agostino

Samuel A. Delgado

Kenneth Armwood, Deputy Director & MCIA Liaison


H. James Polos, Executive Director

OUR GOALS FOR 2021

  1. Continue the momentum of INCREDIBLE giving by converting "pandemic donors" into "repeat donors"

  2. Build upon our relationship with past donors

  3. Return (when appropriate) to in-person fundraising and educational events

  4. Seek to increase the number of grant opportunities

  5. Upgrade and maintain the current Feeding Middlesex County website and expand social media reach

  6. Focus on engagement with the donor base through newsletters and direct emails

  7. Expand the Feeding Middlesex County ambassador program

But, the unknowns about COVID-19 and the food insecurity status in 2021 makes it clear that the need is not decreasing substantially.

Feeding Middlesex County must keep up the momentum for monetary and food donations to provide support to those that are food insecure. We have been reliant on the generosity of the community and this continues to be true for 2021.

We are so grateful that our local residents, businesses and community organizations understand the crisis we are all facing and that their response will enable us to keep feeding the hungry.