Ocean County, New Jersey’s fastest growing county, was “ground zero” for Hurricane Sandy. According to FEMA, 40% of its structures were damaged or destroyed. Today, more than three years later, there are thousands of families who are still struggling to regain housing, financial stability and to overcome food insecurity are turning to local agencies in record numbers for assistance.
In May 2016, The B.E.A.T. Center (Bringing Everyone All Together) will open its doors in Toms River NJ — a team effort of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, and Peoples Pantry (Inspire NJ). It will serve as a community hub where families and individuals in need can access food as well as find ways to end the cyclical causes of hunger in New Jersey. In addition to a commercial kitchen and culinary school, it will also be the permanent home of the Inspire New Jersey Peoples Pantry and a second JBJ Soul Kitchen pay-or-volunteer restaurant.
Serving an in-need population through emergency food distribution and onsite client services, where families can access services such as affordable health care, food stamps (SNAP), free tax preparation, life skills, and job search support. The B.E.A.T. Center will also include a culinary training program provided by The FoodBank, preparing meals for low-income children and homebound seniors while providing job training skills and real-time restaurant experience to students in the culinary arts.
The fundraising campaign will run from March 30th to April 26th, and offer both donor and fundraising team incentives until the facility’s grand opening date. The incentives include a chance to have your name included in a logo at The B.E.A.T. Center as well as receive a digital copy. Individual or team donations of $10,000 or more qualify you for an invitation to the VIP grand opening reception from Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea. In addition, OceanFirst will match every dollar donated up to $100,000.
Click to Donate to The BEAT Center.