Feeding Middlesex County Leverages CaringCrowd To Close Funding Gap
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“Hunger is a year-round struggle,” Jane Leal, Vice-Chair for Feeding Middlesex County, says. She’s grateful for the fundraising help offered by Johnson & Johnson’s CaringCrowd crowdfunding site that helped raise much-needed flexible funding to help close gaps in the community’s effort to feed those who are food-insecure.
Jane helped raise almost $7,000 using CaringCrowd, nearly half of which was donated by J&J as a match.
CaringCrowd is a crowdfunding platform for nonprofits that serve public health needs; food is a public health need.
Preliminary Interview with Jane Leal.
The following is a brief pre-interview that provides context for the recorded interview you may watch or listen to at the top of this article.
Jane Leal is a Vice-Chair for Feeding Middlesex County.
Crowdfunding page: caringcrowd.org/jane-leal
What is the purpose of your crowdfunding campaign?
Hunger is a year-round struggle.
More than 34,000 children of Middlesex public schools receive free/reduced lunches during the school year. During the summer, these kids are not receiving free/reduced lunches, which puts an increased demand on food pantries to fill this void. The food banks and pantries in Middlesex County face a severe decrease in donations and collections during the summer months, and cannot meet this increased demand from food-insecure persons. (The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Report)
More about Feeding Middlesex County:
Feeding Middlesex County financially supports organizations that feed the hungry.
We raise funds to purchase food and equipment to assist qualifying agencies in procuring, storing, preserving and transporting food and other necessary items to our food insecure neighbors, through MCFOODS, the county food bank.
For-profit or Nonprofit: Nonprofit
Jane Leal. Photo credit: Feeding Middlesex County
Jane Leal’s bio:
Born in Perth Amboy, NJ, Jane attended local public schools and then graduated with a B.A. from George Washington University. She pursued some post-grad studies at Columbia University.
She had a career in film and video production as a lighting consultant and a video producer in New York City, and she was one of the first producers to work in high definition video before it became a broadcasting standard. The videos she produced ran the gamut from industrials, commercials, music videos to documentaries. Sadly losing her husband to cancer in 1990, she was determined to reinvent her professional and personal life to make room to comfortably raise her two-year-old daughter. She spent time in NJ freelancing as a video producer, writer and political consultant. In 1994, she joined the Middlesex County Improvement Authority as a communications/media administrator, and she was involved with financing, economic development, recycling, golf course management, food bank management and open space. Retiring in 2015, she began volunteering at the county food bank she was involved with while working, and from this effort, she joined a team that created Feeding Middlesex County, a non-profit dedicated to raising funds to purchase food for the county food bank. She has also been a board member of United Way of Central Jersey working toward the goal of helping low-income children from birth to five years of age to prepare them for kindergarten and success in school and life. In the town of Metuchen where she lives, Jane has served on the Planning Board, the Parking Authority and the Rotunda Gallery. She is a co-author of “Perth Amboy’s Jewish Community,” a history and tribute to the city of her childhood. Her interests include live music events, walking, reading, working out and travel. She treasures family and extended family and close relationships with childhood friends. She is addicted to coffee and 24-hour cable news but is working on conquering these obsessions. She relies on her sense of humor to face life’s challenges.
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