Former Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno relishes her job as the new CEO and President of Fulfill.

Guadagno explained the name change from the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean counties to Fulfill saying the food bank seeks to fulfill all the needs of county residents including mental health, tax preparation as well as food.

Guadagno also said hunger is as much of a problem at the Jersey Shore as any county in the state.

She  said one in 10 residents are food insecure.

“You have to believe that message in order to address the issue,” she said, adding that the problem exists across all races, genders, locations and even among those who are employed. 

There are people she said with one or two jobs who still can’t afford enough food.

Guadagno said her reasons for taking the position at Fulfill are complex but involve a strong desire to help people get off food lines, or if not possible at least live a dignified life in Monmouth County.

Fulfill, she said, has been cited for its financial efficiency, reporting that for every dollar donated, 96 cents is spent on programs.

Fulfill also provides hot meals after school to children attending the Boys and Girls Club in Asbury Park.

Guadagno also said Fulfill is planning monthly dinners at Asbury Tower for residents, whose income must be less than $18,000.

“And it is done in a non-stigmatized way,” she said.

Guadagno was very excited about the new Back Pack program where children are given a food pack and their own backpack to take home to get them through the weekend.

“They are given food for two full days,” she said.

The pack includes cereal, shelf milk, juice and Spaghettios with a pop top. She explained that many poor families don’t have can openers.

Fulfill began collecting can openers to hand out with Thanksgiving baskets.

The food bank distributes one million pounds of food monthly.