TOMS RIVER – The 7th Annual JBJ Soul Kitchen Chili Cook-Off highlighted eleven local first responder units including Fire, Police and EMT, and their chili, but the event was so much more – a celebration of community. The attendees donated more than 580 pounds of food for Fulfill’s People’s Pantry, totaling 386 meals, and Jon Bon Jovi was on hand to taste each entry and thank the first responders for their service.
The event was held at The B.E.A.T. (Bring Everyone All Together) Center in Toms River, which has been celebrating re-inviting the community back into the Center, after being forced to close to the public during the pandemic.
The B.E.A.T. Center represents a joint venture between JBJ Soul Kitchen, Fulfill and Fulfill’s People’s Pantry. Fulfill conducts a culinary training program and has a satellite warehouse at the Center. In addition, members of Fulfill’s Resource Connection Team and other community organizations are housed within the Resource Center to help connect people to food and needed services and programs throughout Ocean County designed to help end the cyclical causes of hunger.
“There are more than 59,000 food insecure residents in Ocean County, including 18,000 children,” said Triada Stampas, president and CEO of Fulfill. “We are proud to partner with the JBJ Soul Foundation at The B.E.A.T. Center to bring needed resources to the residents of Ocean County, including our People’s Pantry, JBJ Soul Kitchen and much more. We look forward to continuing to build these partnerships for Ocean County’s neighbors.”
Fulfill’s People’s Pantry, also housed at The B.E.A.T. Center is currently serving over 105 families a day, five days a week.
The B.E.AT. Center is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone needing assistance may do so by calling 732-731-1400.