Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity (MEND) is hosting its second annual Green Bean Gala, March 7, 2020, from 7 to 11 pm, at The Woodland in Maplewood, NJ. The fundraising event will include music, dancing, food, and auctions, and will commemorate MEND’s 40th anniversary.
MEND is a hunger relief network serving Essex County, NJ. The organization focuses on alleviating hunger and addressing its root causes by supporting a network of 20 food pantries located in Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Maplewood, Montclair, Newark, Orange, South Orange, and West Orange.
MEND provides its pantries with fresh and healthy food, funds, a network of volunteers, and a collaborative forum for pantry managers to connect and work together on broader hunger- and poverty-related issues.
MEND pantries serve over 134,000 people annually, nearly 40% of whom were children. Many of MEND’s patrons are the working poor — those who have jobs, but do not earn enough to consistently provide food for themselves or their families. Many others, such as seniors or the disabled, are struggling to get by on modest fixed incomes.
The event is named in honor of MEND’s mobile food pantry, a converted school bus dubbed “The Green Bean,” which MEND uses to raise awareness about hunger throughout the community, and to collect and deliver healthy food.
Executive Director, Robin Peacock, said, “We are excited to build on the momentum that started with last year’s Green Bean Gala, bringing so much attention to MEND’s mission of providing healthier food for hungry families and individuals. This is also a meaningful way to mark our 40th anniversary as an organization, and to celebrate the pantry managers who do so much to serve their communities with dignity.”
MEND’s newly-elected Chairman, Jabbar Abdi added, “The Green Bean Gala is a great way to start off the year, raising awareness and funds for this important cause. As an organization, MEND is growing quickly to address the increasing demands for fresh and healthy food in our community. Our dynamic, versatile team is actively seeking out bold ways to address those demands and serve more people in need.”
Green Bean Gala sponsors include Kings Food Markets.
Individual tickets are $140 and proceeds from the event will directly support hunger relief in Essex County. To purchase tickets to the Green Bean Gala, or to make a donation, please visit https://mendnj.org/green-bean-gala/.