Monmouth Medical Center Receives ARPA Funds to Address Food Insecurity

Kim with fresh produce

Former Lt. Kim Guadagno, Kim Guadagno, Executive Director of the Mercy Center in Asbury Park, receives a delivery of fresh produce from MMC.

Long Branch, N.J., August 18, 2022 – Monmouth Medical Center (MMC) was awarded a $223,530.84 Monmouth County grant to address food insecurity as a part of $20 million allocated to Monmouth County in Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

“The MMC Community Health, Social Impact and Community Investment department began distributing food shortly after the onset of the COVID pandemic,” said Jean McKinney, Regional Director of Community Health and Social Impact & Community Investment. “RWJBarnabas Health’s Corporate Services partnered with Jersey Cares and the Common Market, a nonprofit regional food aggregator that connects communities with food from sustainable farms, to source produce and shelf-stable goods. Together, we distributed 9,420 pounds of food, and we are pleased to have been recognized by Monmouth County with a new grant to further combat food insecurity.”

MMC's department of Community Health, Social Impact and Community Investment will work directly with community partners to distribute 7,372 boxes of fresh produce, bread, beans, and canned tomatoes through the remainder of 2022 to vulnerable members of our community. Addressing food insecurity is one of RWJBarnabas Health’s pillars of social impact and part of MMC's commitment to improving the health of the entire community outside of our hospital’s walls by addressing underlying social determinants of health.

Some of the recipients of MMC’s grant include The Mercy Center, Asbury Park; St. Brigid’s Pantry at St. James Episcopal Church, Long Branch; Ezekiel’s Wheels, West Long Branch; Soldier On, Tinton Falls; and Reformation Community Food Pantry at Lutheran Church of the Reformation, West Long Branch. MMC made its first delivery on August 9 to the food pantry at the Mercy Center.

“August 9th was a monumental day for Community Health, as we colored the county green with the opening day of our LiveWell Center’s Green Market and the launch of the distribution of this award,” Jean said.

Dawn M. Dell'Omo, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Operations at Mercy, said “We received all the beautiful fresh produce and food this morning – it was truly amazing! Two of our clients in the pantry started to cry when they saw all the fresh food. They were so happy!”


Kathy Horan