Curbing Hunger Month Food Drive Collects 40K Pounds of Donations
Organizations serving needy residents in Somerset County are thanking everyone who contributed to the 18th annual Curbing Hunger food drive. More than 40,000 pounds of food was received during the month of June from curbside collections throughout the county.
“The generosity of our county residents has again been heartwarming,” said Freeholder Director Patricia Walsh. “We encourage everyone to keep up this spirit of giving throughout the year to help boost supplies at our local food banks, which are continuing to struggle as the recession lingers.”
She said residents can make regular donations of non-perishable food every month. Canned goods now are collected at the curb year-round on recycling days in each town; just put them in any plastic bag and mark it “Food.” As part of the “Buy One, Bring One” (BOBO) Fridays program, canned and boxed goods can be dropped off at the county administration building, at the county library and several of its branches, at various municipal buildings and several other public locations. Non-perishables also can be donated at any First Saturday of the Month recycling drop-off at the county recycling center.
The Food Bank Network of Somerset County, the Franklin Township Food Bank and local food pantries have seen unprecedented increases in the number of people they are serving as a result of the economic crisis. The Food Bank Network serves more than 800 families a month, which includes more than 3,000 individuals. Many people who were previously using the food bank only occasionally for emergencies now are regular visitors. Some who previously donated to the agency now are clients themselves.
The Curbing Hunger campaign is a joint effort of the Somerset County Board of Freeholders, the county Recycling Center, county and municipal public works departments, the Food Bank Network of Somerset County and Curbing Hunger Inc. Financial supporters of the program are the Courier News and MyCentralJersey.com. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of Basking Ridge is a founding sponsor.
Curbing Hunger started as a pilot program in Somerset County in 1995 and was expanded to several other counties in New Jersey. Since then, more than 2 million pounds of food have been collected statewide, including over half a million pounds collected in Somerset County alone.
Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation may send a check to Curbing Hunger Inc., P.O. Box 202, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. For more information, call 908-344-5571.