PARSIPPANY – This week, with the support of its vendor partners, Kings Food Markets (Kings) announced the creation of a $25,000 Act Against Hunger Fund, which will provide volunteer and financial support to local community gardens that harvest much-needed, fresh foods for donation to local food banks and soup kitchens. As part of an effort to end hunger in the communities it serves, Kings established the fund through a partnership with Rutgers Cooperative Extension to provide local hunger relief services with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.
“Ending hunger in the communities we serve is an incredibly important mission for Kings,” said Judy Spires, president and CEO, Kings Food Markets. “Right now, there is an increasing need for food banks and other hunger relief agencies to have access to the nutritional value of fresh fruits and vegetables. The Act Against Hunger Fund – and the support we will now be able to provide our local community gardens – allows us to provide that access and better serve those most in need.”
Kings will work with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, a group of trained volunteers who assist Rutgers University in delivering horticulture education programs to local communities, to identify and address community garden needs, such as maintenance, growth and development. In addition, youth and adult participants of the Rutgers 4-H Program will provide educational activities and volunteer services in several communities. Produce harvested from these gardens will be provided to area hunger relief agencies throughout New Jersey. Kings’ associates will also support the individual gardens through volunteerism.
The first location supported by the Act Against Hunger Fund will be the Union County Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at Trailside Nature Center in the Watchung Reservation, which will receive funding to renovate its facilities to more efficiently provide fresh food items to those in need. The Master Gardeners of Union County are funded, in part, by the Freeholder Board through the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County.
“This generous grant from Kings Food Markets will enable the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County to provide fresh, nutritious produce to more households in need,” said Freeholder Board Vice Chairman Linda Carter. “The Freeholder Board is proud to support this outstanding group of volunteers, and we are grateful to Kings for assisting their efforts.”
The Act Against Hunger Fund is part of Kings’ broader commitment to end hunger in New York and New Jersey by providing food donations, financial support and nutrition education in the communities it serves. In the past 12 months, Kings and its vendor partners have provided more than 50,000 pounds of food, 5,000 meals and approximately 2,000 turkeys to those in need.