In the spirit of the gifting and giving season, the SEMGeeks team partnered with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to spread a little joy this holiday by donating food to those who are less fortunate.

Every year, our agency comes together and hosts a food drive to aid families in need from Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  As a collective whole, we aim to see our community thrive – not just during the holiday season, but all throughout the year – and thus, we want to garner support and contribute to bettering our local area. With the full team onboard, our group was able to make a significant contribution to our local FoodBank in Neptune, NJ.

This holiday season, our group of young digital marketers was encouraged to get family and friends involved in participating and contributing to our local FoodBank.  Although we were able to round up a large amount of food, the SEMGeeks team hopes to further our efforts in the coming years by sponsoring a family and assisting them with everyday essential items that they may need.

With a collection period of only a week, SEMGeeks was able to contribute a large box of cans and other non-perishable items to support our local area.  Our team greatly values community engagement and continues to make it a priority to assist wherever we can.  Corporate social responsibility is never something we put to the side, as it remains prevalent in everything that we do.

As of recently, poverty in both Monmouth and Ocean counties has grown significantly.  According the 2015 Poverty Benchmarks document released each year by the Legal Service’s Poverty Research Institute, at least 12% of residents in Ocean County are living in households with incomes below the Federal Poverty Line. Monmouth County trails behind with 8.2%.  Also notable and indicated in the report, the eastern New Jersey towns of Lakewood and Long Branch climb to the top of the list as having extremely high poverty rates.  Lakewood’s poverty rate comes in at a high 32.8%, while Long Branch remains at 19.2%.  Communities such as these can greatly benefit from monetary and food donations, so our team was pleased to have the ability to contribute.

The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties was founded in 1984 and began when a small group of people witnessed hunger at the Jersey Shore and felt obligated to combat this problem.  Donating old office furniture, supplies, and their time, these volunteers worked tirelessly to end the hunger epidemic that appeared so prevalently in the area.  As the small organization grew, a rundown warehouse was purchased in Spring Lake to accommodate thousands of packaged food items that quickly flew in from area residents.  Over time, the FoodBank generated interest from surrounding community members and grew into the organization it is today – providing over 10 million meals a year to poverty-stricken families.  Now residing in Neptune, the FoodBank is able to strategize long-term solutions for individuals and families struggling to maintain food security.

Emergency Food Distribution is the largest program the FoodBank has to offer, with a network of 300 charitable programs in just Monmouth and Ocean Counties alone.  The organization, however, offers numerous programs for area volunteers.  Child nutrition programs, senior food programs, mobile pantries, and a volunteer gardens are just a few options the FoodBank provides for those who want to become more involved in aiding our community.

Although the organization has grown tremendously over the years, it’s mission has always remained the same.  The FoodBank hopes to alleviate hunger and build food support throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  If you would like to support the FoodBank and donate food, volunteer your time, or give funds, please visit The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties website to learn more.