By DENISE HERSCHEL
The Bradley Food Pantry fundraiser “Take a Bite Out of Hunger” is scheduled for Thurs., May 4 with participating restaurants in Bradley Beach donating a percentage of their income on that day to the pantry.
According to Bradley Food Pantry Director Linda Curtiss, the fundraiser is “an opportunity to enjoy a good meal, to have good community and to give back to a good cause at the same time.”
Holly Mayer, coordinator of the event, said this is their second annual fundraiser and it is an easy way to have a great meal “in any number of amazing local restaurants, connect with friends and neighbors in the community of Bradley Beach and help others who do not have enough to eat.”
The food pantry is an entirely volunteer-run organization founded in 1982 and is one of the largest serving pantries in the state. Mayer said it provides food to over 1,400 families every month which is a considerable increase from last year.
Various restaurants around town have committed to donating a percentage of their proceeds and customers who dine in a participating establishment at any time, breakfast, lunch or dinner, on May 4 can enjoy a wonderful meal while knowing they are helping others, according to Mayer.
“Participating restaurants will have a sign in the window letting customers know of their pledge to assist the community,” she said. “Last year restaurants donated over $5,000 to the pantry and this year we hope to top that percent”
Restaurants included are Bamboo Leaf, Bradley Brew Project, D’Arcy’s Tavern, Holland Sundries, La Fogata Ideal, Marandola’s, Pachos y Juanchos, the Perfect Perk and Vic’s.
“The pantry is open five mornings a week and one evening and serves clients primarily from Asbury Park to Wall. While a large portion of the food provided comes to the pantry cost-free through federal and state government through the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, we still spent $100,000 in 2022 to buy food and $30,000 to pay for utilities and supplies. We hope people make plans to dine locally on May 4 to help the pantry,” Mayer said.