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You would probably be surprised to learn there are many and I do mean many active duty military families living in our area who depend on government programs like food stamps and others just to get by.  That’s because their poverty-level income is simply not enough for them to provide for their families and rarely leaves anything extra for something many of us take for granted like a night out at a local restaurant.  All of this has gotten worse during the pandemic for those living on military bases as with COVID guidelines many spouses are unable to work and supplement their family income.

Enter two guys who have experience when it comes to helping others….Cliff Baker and Chef Mike Jurusz of Chef Mike’s ABG.  Like they did nearly 10 years ago following Superstorm Sandy when they created “If There Is A Need We Will Feed” the dynamic duo saw something that needed to be done.  In this case it’s making life just a bit better for those we often call heroes who unfortunately struggle just to keep their heads above water.

With that said let me introduce Dine On Us, a non-profit whose mission is to provide a night out and more for local military families.  Right now along with nearly 20 restaurant partners they are collecting gift cards which will be distributed in April to 125 active duty military families living at Joint Base Lakehurst/McGuire.  How it works is you purchase a gift card which is left as a donation with the restaurant to match your donation with a gift card of their own.  Dine On Us will then put together packages of 5 gift cards to be given to the families next month along with ones for groceries and gas.  In the end it’s hoped that these families will get to enjoy a night out which is something they clearly deserve.

The participating restaurants are

Chef Mike’s ABG, South Seaside Park

Bum Rogers Crabhouse, South Seaside Park

Berkeley Cut, South Seaside Park

Ohana Grill, Lavallette

Aqua Blu, Toms River

Capone’s, Gourmet Pizza & Pasta,Toms River

The Office Lounge, Toms River

JoeBella’s, Toms River

Four Seasons Diner, Toms River

Burger 25, Toms River

Caffrey’s Tavern/Backyard, Forked River

Waterman’s Tavern, Brielle

The Original Mulligan’s Bar & Grill, Farmingdale

Hanger 21, Lakehurst

Wings & Things, Toms River & Mount Holly

 

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