TOMS RIVER – The People’s Pantry’s executive director is retiring from the position, and the service will now be run by Fulfill.
A release sent out by Fulfill, formerly known as The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, said they began operating the service on March 5. The People’s Pantry is located at the B.E.A.T. Center on Hooper Avenue, next to Fulfill offices and Culinary Training Program.
Patricia Donaghue, the People’s Pantry’s executive director, announced she retired to pursue other interests.
“It has been an honor to serve thousands of families at the Jersey Shore by supplying them meals and connecting them with the social services they needed. Educating our neighbors about the difference between poverty and food security was my priority,” said Patricia Donaghue. “It’s bittersweet to leave The People’s Pantry that I started after Sandy, but I know it’s in the best of hands with Eileen Davis Kovar continuing on as manager with Fulfill. It’s also comforting to know that The People’s Pantry will now have a seat on Fulfill’s Board of Directors.”
The People’s Pantry was borne out of the needs of people after Superstorm Sandy. The storm showed how many people are just one tragedy away from not having a source of food on a regular basis. Advocates have continued to educate the public that food insecurity affects one in 10 people in Ocean County, and that more people are closer to being in need than anyone realizes.
“Patricia was there for the people of Ocean County after Superstorm Sandy and has been there ever since. Families appreciate her hard work and selfless dedication to help feed them in their time of need. Patricia literally helped redefine the face of hunger,” said Peter Van Dyke, Board Chair of The People’s Pantry.
“The People’s Pantry has a critical role in feeding our neighbors in Ocean County and accomplishing the goal of the B.E.A.T Center which is ‘Bringing Everyone All Together’ and working as a hub for community services that end the cycle of food insecurity,” said Jeremy Grunin, Board Chair of Fulfill.
The People’s Pantry will now be operating under Fulfill’s 501(c)3 for the purposes of federal and state food distribution guidelines.