On Saturday, Nov. 17, more than 120 volunteers came together at Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence to sort and pack 535 boxes of packaged and canned foods for area residents who need it the most this holiday season.
The estimated value of the 535 boxes packed is more than $26,000, said Cheryl Bock, Coordinator for "Scouting for Food, an annual food drive run by the church and Community Service Association (CSA).
Out of the boxes collected, Bock said 155 were distributed to 39 CSA families on Saturday for Thanksgiving. The remaining 380 boxes will be delivered this Saturday to Starfish Food Pantry, a combined Jewish/Christian organization in Plainfield that provides emergency aid to about 9,000 people in that area, two-thirds of whom are children.
"It was a terrific year with more food collected to help feed the hungry in our community," said Cheryl Bock, who has been the food drive coordinator for 12 years where she works with the scouts and CSA, and ensures there are volunteers and supplies needed at the church for a successful food drive. "Thanks to all the residents in New Providence for their generous donations of food each year."
Paper bags, donated by Shoprite, A&P, Kings and Stop & Shop, were on Saturday, Nov. 10 to assist "Scouting for Food."
Last year, volunteers packed 460 boxes of non-perishables, an estimated value of $19,950. Bock attributes the greater number of donations this year to the use of paper bags instead of plastic bags.
"Last year, local grocery stores donated plastic bags since paper is much more costly," Bock explained. "We think this had an impact on our collection last year so we worked with some other grocery stores in the area and were able to get paper again this year and I really think this made a difference."
For more information about the food collection and other outreach programs at Faith Lutheran, please call the church office at ( 908) 464-5177 or e-mail Family.Faith@verizon.net. The web site is famfaith.org.