Lunch Break History
In January 1983, thirty five people gathered at the Friends Meeting House in Shrewsbury to discuss the issue of hunger in Monmouth County. They committed themselves to help the community members who find it difficult to provide the bare necessities for their families.
Galvanized into action, the group (in which churches and businesses were represented) began to raise funds and recruit volunteers.
In March 1983, Reverend Terence Rosheuvel provided the basement of the Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in Red Bank to serve hot lunches. In 1985, Lunch Break moved to the Masonic Temple on Bergen Place and expanded its services to include the provision of groceries to families.
Community demand quickly increased beyond the capacity of the Temple, and Lunch Break leaders began to investigate the construction of a permanent, independent facility. In 1986, through combined efforts of many contributors and a large grant from the State of New Jersey, Lunch Break opened the doors to its current facility at 121 Drs. James Parker Boulevard in Red Bank.
In 1992 Saint Leo’s started supplying bagged lunches on Saturday to be distributed to our clients.
For 25 years Mrs. Norma Todd was the Executive Director and the heart and soul of Lunch Break. Mrs. Todd passed away in April 2008 leaving a legacy of love and determination as her banner. Shortly thereafter, Gwendolyn Love was hired as our new Executive Director. Along with her staff, Lunch Break annually is helped by over 1,500 volunteers, with approximately 70 volunteers serving in several capacities on a regular basis.
We continue to serve our community members in need to this day, with the same passion, dedication and community support which is the foundation established by Mrs.Todd years ago.
In recent years, several programs have been added to the Lunch Break roster of services such as the children's Cooking Class Program and the Saturday breakfast, which is sponsored by several area churches.
Our vision is to lead the region as the comprehensive food, nutrition and life skills resource for community members in need.