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Royal Neighbors of America grants $10k to bolster food security in Middlesex County

Nov 14, 2023

Rock Island, Ill. (Nov. 14, 2023) – Royal Neighbors of America, a women-led fraternal benefit society based in Rock Island, Ill. presented Miriam O'Hare, Master Gardener and Volunteer at Rows for the Hungry in North Brunswick, N.J. with a Nation of Neighbors℠ empowerment award and grant.

Royal Neighbors offers life insurance and annuity products to its members and is driven by its mission of supporting women and serving communities. Nation of Neighbors is Royal Neighbors’ signature women’s empowerment program. It recognizes and supports women who work to empower women and girls through a nonprofit, business, or program. Nation of Neighbors recipients are influential leaders who exemplify the Royal Neighbors “neighbor-helping-neighbor” mission of community service.

Nominations for Nation of Neighbors awards and grants are submitted by Royal Neighbors members. Ms. O’Hare was nominated by Royal Neighbors member and Chapter Leader, Cathleen Decker of Spotswood.

Rows for the Hungry is a legacy donation garden located at the Earth Center in North Brunswick, NJ. Rows for the Hungry’s primary objective is to increase food donations to clients while creating a comprehensive "mini farm" program for volunteers with tutorials and hands on experience.

Rows for the Hungry grows food exclusively for Middlesex County’s community kitchen Elijahs’ Promise and Replenish – a hunger eradication program which shares food with smaller food banks in the county.

Rows for the Hungry grew 4,000 pounds of food in their first year, and 2023, expanded to 15,000+ pounds of first quality produce.

“Our food is grown directly for our food insecure clients,” said Ms. O’Hare. “We grow first quality food for those in need. Everyone should have access to fresh food.”

Rows for the Hungry also offers educational tours for kids to learn and engage hands-on with nature and gardening. Through their Corporate Community Days, they engage individuals in working on projects or harvesting in the Rows. “This creates opportunities for sharing information not just about the Rows but also issues concerning food insecurity and engagement in community service. Over 500 people have visited us this year,” said Ms. O’Hare.

“Rows for the Hungry’s impact will have a ripple effect for many years to come,” said Royal Neighbors Director of Philanthropy Amy Jones. “Not only are they working to eradicate hunger with first quality produce, but they’re also educating their entire community about farming and gardening so that they, too, can continue to serve their community,” she added. “We are inspired by Miriam’s drive to make a lasting and meaningful impact, which embodies our ‘neighbor-helping-neighbor’ philosophy.”

“The work we do is challenging at times and knowing we have recognition and financial assistance is huge for us,” said Ms. O’Hare. “We will be able to grow more food and expand donations to our clients. That support has a huge impact on the morale of our team.”

To date, Royal Neighbors has awarded more than $2.5 million in Nation of Neighbors grants nationwide.

More about Royal Neighbors of America

Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895 as a membership organization by nine pioneering women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and children. Now, with more than 250,000 members nationwide, Royal Neighbors of America offers life insurance and annuity products to its members and is driven by its mission of supporting women and serving communities. The organization’s employees, members, and chapters across the country drive the mission through localized volunteerism and philanthropy programs making social impact the cornerstone of their work. In 2020, Royal Neighbors was upgraded to “A Excellent” (3rd highest out of 13) by the AM Best Company for overall financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to certificate holders. The rating was affirmed as of November 30, 2021 and once again in 2022. In 2022, Royal Neighbors delivered $24.5 million in social good, record revenue and received an all-time high score from the Great Place to Work® employee survey, achieving their sixth Great Place to Work Certification. For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, go to


Media Contact:
Marie Young, Manager, Communications | (309) 732-8280

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