With the need for food donations reaching critical as food banks run short this holiday season, some of the best surfers from New York and New Jersey will converge on Loch Arbour on Friday, November 28th to lend a helping hand with the first annual 'Surf for the Hungry' Charity Surf Contest and Food Drive.

The surfer’s mission? Come together to collect food for the hungry, raise awareness, and inspire others to help. This year’s event will benefit Trinity’s Food Pantry in Asbury Park, NJ.

The event is co-sponsored by NYNJsurf.com, a regional surf website, in cooperation with the Eastern Surfing Association’s (ESA) New York and Central New Jersey Districts. The Eastern Surfing Association is a volunteer driven organization that runs surf contests in 27 districts across the east coast and Great Lakes, and has more than a 40 year history in surfing and giving back to the community.

Rick Anthony, Co-Director of ESA’s New York District, summed it up. “The need for food is more critical this year than ever. If we can help raise awareness, there’s no doubt we can make a difference.”

Anthony’s assessment of the situation is spot on, according to ESA’s Central New Jersey district Co-Director Scott Goodwin: “Local New Jersey food banks are reporting a 30% increase this year in requests for help. And with the economy down, it’s harder than ever for them to keep up with demand. We’re hoping to set an example that every little bit helps. Instead of a traditional entry fee, each competitor will donate at least four food items for the cause.”

The event is scheduled to run from 8am until 2pm on Friday, November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving. Spectators are welcomed and encouraged to bring donations of their own for the Food Drive. Event organizers are planning to have drop boxes available at the contest site along with representatives from the Trinity Food Pantry on hand to accept non-perishable food donations.

Plans for 2009 are already in the works, with next year’s event scheduled to be held in Rockaway Beach, NY the Friday after Thanksgiving. For more information, please visit NYNJsurf.com.