Lakeland Bank recently presented a $10,000 Community Impact Grant to Fulfill at the B.E.A.T Center in Toms River, N.J. The purpose of Lakeland Bank’s Community Impact Grant Program is to address specific community-focused initiatives and invest in eligible high-performing nonprofit organizations that make a strong and lasting impact on our communities.
“It was our pleasure to present the first Community Impact Grant in Ocean County to Fulfill which does so much more than just provide food — their comprehensive approach helps people in need get back on their feet for good, ” said Thomas Shara, president and chief executive officer. “As a local community bank, we believe Lakeland has an obligation to invest in nonprofit initiatives that enhance the neighborhoods where our customers and associates live and work.”
Fulfill’s mission is to alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and to make sure all people at all times have access to enough nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy life. Formerly The Food Bank of Ocean and Monmouth counties, Fulfill is headquartered in Neptune with a location in Toms River at the B.E.A.T. Center. The organization’s name change reflects the fact that they focus on more than food distribution in their battle against hunger. Today, Fulfill provides a full suite of programs to provide the resources people need to become self-sufficient.
“It takes a community to end hunger.” said Barbara Scholtz, Fulfill Director of Advocacy and Programs. “We are so grateful for this generous gift because it increases the awareness of hunger in Ocean County, where families are still recovering from Sandy and others have been affected by illness or job layoffs and need some help to get past these hurdles. When local businesses like Lakeland Bank support food and resources, individuals, families, children and seniors all get the help they need and a hand up.”
Visit Fulfill.org to learn more about their mission and partnership with the Peoples Pantry and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen to provide neighbors in need with access to food, education and other resources.
About Lakeland Bank’s Grant Program
The Lakeland Bank program is non-competitive with no public solicitations for applications. Prospective recipients and their programs are nominated for consideration for a Community Impact Grant or Housing Impact Grant based upon an internal nomination process designed specifically for this program. The non-competitive grants will be awarded in the second and fourth quarters to eligible organizations within the Bank’s assessment areas that offer the following services:
- Financial independence
- Homelessness solutions and affordable housing programs
- Education programs offering financial skill sets
- Youth programs and services including childcare and afterschool programs
- Emergency services including food, shelter and clothing
- Health and well-being services