Press Releases

All New Blue Jean Ball Fights Hunger with Style


Annual Gala is Revamped, Reimagined, and Reinvigorated to Support the FoodBank’s Mission
Honoring Goya Foods, David Tepper, and CFBNJ Volunteer Corps

HILLSIDE, NJ—June 22, 2018

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey held its All New Blue Jean Ball on Saturday, June 16 at the Central Railroad Terminal in Liberty State Park. Historically a low-key affair, the annual gala was revamped, reimagined, and reinvigorated this year with a sophisticated style that drew 465 guests, whose generous donations raised more than $1.1 million to benefit the FoodBank’s hunger relief efforts.

Sign Up for E-News

The event was chaired by members of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s Board of Directors—Alma DeMetropolis, Robert H. Doherty, and Roby & Josh Weinreich.

The All New Blue Jean Ball began at 5:30 pm with a cocktail hour featuring food trucks on the Hudson overlooking the New York City skyline. Four food truck partners generously donated their time and the food that they prepared to help start the event off deliciously: Premio Foods, Harvest Restaurant Group, Compass Group, and Stone Soup, the FoodBank’s own on-site catering service run by Chef Paul Kapner.

Afterwards, the festivities moved inside for dinner and an awards presentation honoring FoodBank supporters who have exemplified the three core values of food, help, and hope. The formal program was emceed by New Jersey’s own Adam Sank.

The FOOD Award was presented to Goya Foods, Inc., a significant provider of food for New Jerseyans in need through donations to Feeding America, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, and a host of local pantries, soup kitchens, and after-school programs.

"As a New Jersey-based company, Goya strives to give back to the community,” said Bob Unanue, President of Goya Foods. “We are proud to work with the FoodBank to further their mission of addressing hunger as a health issue by helping to provide access to nutritious, culturally appropriate meals.”

This year alone, Goya has donated 100,000 pounds of food to date through the Goya Gives ‘Can Do’ campaign, teaming up with the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center employees to sort and bag some of the food for distribution.

Philanthropist David Tepper, Founder & President of Appaloosa LP, received the HELP Award for his generous financial support of the FoodBank and consistent advocacy for those in need. His foresight bolstered the FoodBank’s resilience during the recession, Superstorm Sandy, and the collapse of the Atlantic City economy.

“Hunger is everybody's concern and everybody's responsibility," Tepper told us. “An investment in supporting our New Jersey neighbors pays back dividends in a million different ways, feeding families next door and fueling the futures of our kids."

Rocker Jon Bon Jovi lent some star power to the event, attending the All New Blue Jean Ball to show his support for the fight against hunger by presenting David Tepper with the HELP Award.

"It's a privilege to honor my friend, David Tepper, with the HELP Award at the All New Blue Jean Ball," Bon Jovi said. "David understands the need to help his community and pursues his philanthropic investments with the same rigors he does any business endeavor. He knows that together, we can solve the problem of hunger in New Jersey.”

The HOPE Award went to year’s most dedicated corporate partners, schools, organizations, and individuals who have demonstrated leadership as FoodBank volunteers: Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Prudential Financial, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Wakefern Food Corporation, Lafayette Elementary School, Kean University, Seton Hall Preparatory School, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Bob Griffin, Carol Haws, Betsey Bernhardt, and Nancy & John Shaw.

"The FoodBank is fortunate to have dedicated partners who share our goal of eliminating hunger and poverty in New Jersey communities,” said Carlos Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, “With food from Goya, help from philanthropist David Tepper, Founder & President of Appaloosa LP, and hope from our devoted volunteers, we are able to work towards our mission of feeding and empowering our hungry neighbors."

After the awards presentation, guests enjoyed comedic entertainment by Colin Jost, Co-anchor of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update. The evening concluded back outside with a moveable feast of desserts crafted by the food trucks.

“The FoodBank is deeply grateful to the All New Blue Jean Ball chairs, sponsors, and attendees for their support of our mission,” Carlos Rodriguez said. “We’ve exceeded our fundraising goal and honored a few of the FoodBank’s most committed supporters. Every dollar we raise is more that we can do for our neighbors in need. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

Please contact Nicole Williams, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, at or 908-355-3663 ext. 282 for additional photos and to learn more about the All New Blue Jean Ball.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, a member of Feeding America®, provides people across the state with food, help and hope. The FoodBank distributed more than 50 million pounds of food last year to its more than 1,000 community partners including pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, mobile pantries, and child and senior feeding programs. More than 4.7 million times a year, someone in need is fed by the FoodBank’s network of partners. For our neighbors, especially families, and for the volunteers and donors who support them, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey is the powerful change agent that fills the emptiness caused by hunger with the basic human essentials people need to survive.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17

July 16, 2018

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16 until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Roselle Man Charged with Multiple Counts of Animal Cruelty After Search Finds Over 40 Dogs Living in Squalor

July 11, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - Charges have been filed on the Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month said acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan.

Authorities say, Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with than 30 criminal offenses that include two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal ...

Cranford Jaycees Annual Golf Outing Raises Money For Community

July 18, 2018

CRANFORD - The Township of Cranford Junior Chamber of Commerce (“Jaycees”) held their 12th Annual Golf Outing on Friday, June 22, 2018, at the Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth. The outing raised $8,000.00 which will benefit two worthy community organizations, the Cranford Baseball and Softball League Inc. and the Union County Educational Services Commission ...

"Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too!"

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Step Up and Build a Stronger Union County

July 20, 2018

Union County residents who are seeking a meaningful, high-impact way to volunteer in their community can sign up as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties.

The organization is currently seeking volunteer mentors for its best-known program, Community Based Mentoring. The program involves individual mentoring with a local child or teen, age 6 to 18, with a ...