Hunger won’t win here – not with Lauren Holman taking the reigns as Board Chair of Fulfill Monmouth & Ocean. Holman, HFA Partner, has served as Vice-Chair on Fulfill’s Executive Board for the last year and was recently promoted to Board Chair. “I am honored to lead this fine organization that is committed to feeding our neighbors at the Jersey Shore during this critical time in history,” said Holman. “I am looking forward to continuing my work with Fulfill President and CEO Kim Guadagno and building on the successes of my predecessor, Jeremy Grunin.”
Holman first got involved with Fulfill over 10 years ago. “I was auditing a school board at the time and when talking to the Principal, I found out that their back-to-school night was the most highly attended event because they provided food,” she said. “It hit me in that moment that there are people, children, in our very own backyards that are struggling with food insecurity. I had just had my first child and the thought of her going hungry, or not having enough to eat, was heartbreaking. This was not okay and I wanted to help, so I did some research and found Fulfill.”
The mission of Fulfill is to alleviate hunger and build food security in Monmouth and Ocean Counties and to make sure that all people at all times have access to enough nutritious food to maintain an active and healthy life. “COVID-19 has challenged us to rise up and to face the increased need head on,” Holman said. “Since the start of the pandemic (March 13, 2020), Fulfill has served 3.2M more meals than in 2019. Moreover, this is on top of our regular distribution of more than 1M pounds of food a month to our nearly 300 feeding partners.”
Although the future is uncertain right now, Holman knows one thing for sure: “Fulfill will never stop fighting until every resident of Monmouth and Ocean Counties is food secure. I’m excited and energized to help continue the mission here at Fulfill to feed our hungry neighbors – and that’s one in six people here at the Jersey Shore right now.”
Fulfill has been serving the area for over 35 years, and continuously searches for innovative ways to reach people in need of nutritious meals and other services. “Education is part of Fulfill’s mission to fight hunger and get people off the food line,” said Holman. “Families benefit from mobile pantries and assistance with the application process for programs such as SNAP and healthcare benefits.”
Fulfill also provides tax preparation services at no cost, helping ensure those in need file taxes and receive their refunds. Along with this service, comes financial coaching when needed. Fulfill also has a 12-week culinary skills training program that provides people with a readily employable skill. “Together, we will keep making a difference in the lives of struggling families, children, seniors and veterans,” said Holman.
Holman is a licensed CPA in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is HFA’s Practice Leader for its not-for-profit division. Holman and her husband and fellow HFA Partner, Matt, live in Point Pleasant with their three children.