Athletes, activists in New Jersey come together to help those struggling with food insecurity

DEMAREST, New Jersey (WABC) -- A benefit was held in New Jersey on Monday to help City Harvest in its drive to feed those in need.

The day of fun was really a day of charity to help those struggling with food insecurity.

"Eighty percent of the people that take from City Harvest actually have two people working full time and they still can't make ends meet," said Geoffrey Zakarain, chair of Harvest Food Council.

One of the best golfers in the world joined a foursome but spoke about leaving a legacy by meeting the needs of struggling families.

"Now here we're playing a day in America, one of the greatest countries in the world, and we've got to raise money for children to have food? There's something wrong -- are we going to the moon in preference to feeding people and educating people? Are our priorities right or wrong -- it's a debatable issue," said professional golfer Gary Player.

Golfers finished off their rounds raising money to help organizations like City Harvest and Harlem EatUp as they collect fresh food from restaurants, grocery stores and farmers to deliver to needy new Yorkers -- especially during the pandemic.

"Everyone is hurting right now and particularly food insecure and home insecure people, so this is our opportunity to raise some money, give back," said restaurant owner Marcus Samuelsson.

"For us, food is part of our lives, but for a lot people, it's something they have to worry about, so to be able to give back to the community, it's a big part of what we do," said Dale Talde with Goosefeather Restaurant.

The event is expected to help provide thousands of meals in these trying times. According to City Harvest, food insecurity has risen 36% during the pandemic and fundraisers are the perfect link to help those in need.

"We have a network of 400 soup kitchens and pantries all across the city and so we can actually make sure it gets to the neighborhoods that need it the most," said Dan Lavoie with City Harvest.

ALSO READ | Gabby Petito case: Laundrie family says they will not hold funeral for Brian
EMBED More News Videos

Brian Laundrie's skeletal remains were given to a forensic anthropologist to determine the cause of death.

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.