By Patty Booth O’Neill
Anyone familiar with St. Luke’s Church on Broadway in Long Branch knows they are always prepared to feed those in need, but inside the church. They offered hot meals on holidays and lunches during the week, all prepared and served by volunteers.
Because of COVID-19 that has changed for the time being, but the offer of a good meal has not.
On Tuesday, June 2, Janet Massaro, pantry coordinator for St. Luke’s Church, was busy filling boxes with food for distribution with the help of Progressive Pipeline Management, a company that travels up and down the coast to help after disasters.
“They are so much help,” Massaro said. “There is so much to do to get ready.”
Massaro was anticipating 400 families on Friday for food pick up.
“Half of the people who come are walkers,” she said. The other half have boxes placed into the trunks of their car. “For the walkers we try to make the boxes as easy as possible to carry.”
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A Pod in the church’s parking lot was already filled with boxes ready for distribution. Other boxes were stored inside the church.
“When people come they also get a frozen chicken, rice and eggs,” Massaro said.
She said that anyone who would like to help on the day of distribution please call the church (732- 222-1341.) “We could use help for packing or distribution,” she said.
Local food distribution sites
• St. Vincent DePaul/ Holy Trinity Church Food Pantry – 408 Prospect Street, Long Branch; 732-222-3216 ext.116: Every Wednesday 11am-1:30pm. LBPS
also uses this location to distribute bagged lunches on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; from 11am-1:30pm.
• St. Luke’s United Methodist Church – 535 Broadway, Long Branch; 732- 222-1341; Every other Friday (this Friday 4/24 will be operational) from 3pm-5pm.
• Lutheran Church of the Reformation – 992 Broadway, West Long Branch; 732-963-9610; Every Tuesday 7-8:30pm & Every Saturday 8-10am
• Fulfill – 3300 Route 66, Neptune; 732-918-2600; Monday – Friday 8am-4:30pm; Emergency food boxes are left outside the front door for all to pick up.
• Long Branch Public Schools – 540 Broadway, Long Branch; 732-571-2868 Grab & Go Meals for Long Branch Public School students can be picked up Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12 PM at the following locations: Holy Trinity School, Lenna W. Conrow, Gregory Elementary School, Long Branch Middle School.