Community Food Connection

Beginning in October 2022, Interfaith Neighbors began a collaboration amongst a network of area food pantries and local farmers called the Community Food Connection. The mission of the Community Food Connection, an Asbury Park-area food pantry and community spaces coalition is to work passionately to shift the power, health, and wealth of historically marginalized communities by developing community-driven solutions to inequities within the Monmouth County NJ regional food system. 

In May 2022, we took the bold step of creating a farm to food pantry initiative. This 25-week initiative focuses on providing free, seasonal, farm-fresh produce to 300 families each week Tuesday through Sunday through a network of 12 participating food pantries, plus the Asbury Park Senior Center, Asbury Towers, Asbury Park Housing Authority Robinson Towers, and the Monmouth County Boys & Girls Club.  

The Community Food Connection is the first ever Asbury Park area food pantry coalition, and is driven by the leadership of the members. The power of this collaboration lies in our decision and ability to collaborate to end nutritional insecurity in our community. Click here to see (and like) our Facebook page. Our Instagram handle is @NJCommunityFoodConnection. Please call BHEC Coordinator Karyn Moskowitz @ 502-475-8979 or email [email protected] for information on how to volunteer and with any other questions.

BHEC Coordinator Karyn Moskowitz and Monmouth University intern Emily Socha, two of the Community Food Connection founders.

With grants from Hackensack Meridian Health System and the BHEC Initiative to “seed” the program, Interfaith Neighbors is seeking support from the broader community, inviting you to sponsor the cost of produce for an individual family.  $250 will underwrite the cost of produce for a family for the entire season. $50 will support a family’s produce for one month.  And $25 will cover the cost of produce for one family for two weeks.  Whatever you are able to give will assist us in helping families live healthier lives.  


Gifts of $50 or more will receive an all natural produce sling for shopping for your fresh produce as a token of our appreciation.

People who frequent food pantries live below the poverty line and find it difficult to access federal food benefits and farm fresh produce. Under Interfaith Neighbors’ Building Healthier & More Equitable Communities Initiative (BHEC), our goal is to provide a consistent supply of fresh produce to families throughout the summer growing season.

Beginning in October 2021, Interfaith Neighbors began to establish a food pantry coalition within the greater Asbury Park region with the aim of fostering greater communication and resource distribution. According to a Center for Science in the Public Interest survey, 85 percent of food pantry families emphasized the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables over candy and soda. When children are introduced at a young age to fresh-from-the-farm produce, they tend to prefer the taste of fruits and vegetables over unhealthy options. They are more willing to try different types of cuisine and have better life outcomes. 

Collaborative partner Meredith Taylor (Rutgers University) with Larry “Farmer Q” Kuser from Fernbrook Farms (Bordentown, NJ)

It is well know that unhealthy diets contribute to negative life outcomes, including impaired growth in children and chronic health conditions that lead to higher healthcare costs and missed days of work. In underinvested areas, individuals are most susceptible to hypertension, diabetes, cancer, stroke, obesity, and heart disease. These food-related illnesses are preventable through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, underscoring the need for increased access to a consistent supply of fresh food. 

With the vast availability of processed foods, which are high in calories and low in nutritional content, as well as the consistent dearth of quality fresh produce, the Asbury Park community is facing a lack of food and a lack of nutritious options. 

This initiative also supports New Jersey farms and helps ensure our resources stay local. It supports small-scale farms who struggle to compete within the commercial marketplace, and fosters a greater relationship with the food we consume and the farmers who grow it. All produce will be picked the morning prior to transport, providing a super-fresh and delicious option to participating families, who otherwise cannot afford this life-saving food. 

During the 25-week initiative, participating local food pantries will receive a weekly produce drop, executed in partnership with Fernbrook Farms in Bordentown. Participating families will have access to farm tours and volunteer opportunities. Pantries will distribute healthy recipes along with fresh produce. 

2023 Pick Up Locations include: 

  • Trinity Church, 503 Asbury Ave, Asbury Park, Tuesdays, 11 AM-1 PM

  • People’s Pantry, 805 Pine St. (Mount Carmel Church, west side parking lot) Asbury, 1st & 3rd Tuesdays, 4:30-6:30 PM

  • Bradley Food Pantry, 605 Fourth Ave, Bradley Beach, Wednesdays, 10 AM-Noon

  • Monmouth County Boys & Girls Club, 1201 Monroe Ave, Asbury Park, Wednesdays, 4-5:30 PM

  • Mercy Center, 1108 Main St, Asbury Park, Wednesdays, 1:30-4:00 PM

  • St. Vincent de Paul @ St. Peter Claver, 1419 Springwood Avenue, Every 2nd and 4th Thursdays 10 AM-1 PM

  • Jewish Family & Children’s Services, 705 Summerfield Ave, Asbury Park, Fridays, 7:30-9:30 AM

  • Asbury Park Senior Center, 1201 Springwood Ave, Asbury Park, Fridays, 10-10:30 AM (Not open to the general public)

  • United Fellowship Baptist Church, 603 Third Ave, Asbury Park, Saturdays, 9:30-11 AM

  • St. Augustine Church, Atlantic & Prospect Ave, Asbury Park, Sundays, 9:30-11:30 AM

  • The Rebirth Church, 115 Dewitt Ave, Asbury Park, Every 2nd and 4th Sunday, 12 Noon-2 PM

  • Springwood Park, Atkins and Springwood, Asbury Park Every Music Monday 6-9 PM, June through September.

  • Lunch Break, 121 Dr. James Parker Blvd, Red Bank, Monday-Friday 10am-2:45pm, Saturdays 9am-12pm. Dining Room open Monday-Friday  breakfast 8:30am-10:30pm, lunch 11am-1pm. Dinner on Friday 6pm-8pm, Saturday breakfast and bagged lunch 10am-12pm.

  • Jersey Shore Food Not Bombs, Sundays, 3:30 to 4:30 PM, AP Train Station

    Please donate to these organizations so they can continue to help local families.

    Collaborative Partners include: 

    • Lunch Break

    • Mogo Korean Fusion

    • Hey Friend Foundation

    • Fresh Markets and SNAP with Asbury Fresh

    • Fernbrook Farms

    • CUMAC

    • Asbury Park Dinner Table

    • Meredith Taylor at Rutgers University

    • Jersey Shore Food Not Bombs

    • Langosta Lounge/Food for Thought

    • Brookdale Community College and Food Pantry

    • Monmouth University

    • Community Affairs Resource Center

    • Hackensack Meridian Health System

    The Interfaith Neighbors Network