The department saw over 150 families in April and May, with an average of three new families per month. Once the summer hit, the flood of families in need continued, with 88 in July and 78 in August.
From January through August this year, Social Services saw 553 families. Last year during that time frame, the total number of families who came in for aid from Social Services was 455.
"You hear the same thing from people for awhile now. Unemployment is running out or its been cut and they can't make ends meet," said Social Services Director LouAnne Wolf last month. "We're seeing way more people than we're used to seeing. Our food intake has always been lower in the summer, but almost all of our (food shelves) are empty."
Help may be on the way though, as the holiday season is around the corner.
The annual Boy Scouts “Scouting for Food” program will begin Nov. 2 and 3 at the ShopRite on Route 130 in North Brunswick and Stop & Shop on Route 27 in Franklin Park. The Scouts will be accepting donations from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on both days.
An additional food drive is scheduled for Dec. 7 at the ShopRite in North Brunswick from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All the food donated to the pantry will be used for the holiday programs in November and December. Gift cards and monetary donations will also be accepted.
With the holiday season on the way, the township's Adopt-a-Family program is also returning. Social Services helps over 300 families during the holiday season, so a flood of support from the entire community is needed.
People interested in helping can do any of the following:
- Monetary donations in any amount. Make checks payable to “S.B. Human Intervention Trust Fund” and mail to Social Services, PO Box 190, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
- Gift cards to any of the local food stores
- Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes & Noble, CVS or any other store where items needed for the holidays can be purchased
- Adopt a family through the holiday program.
For more information contact LouAnne Wolf at 732-329-4000 ext. 7674 or 7672 or come to the department's offices in the Municipal Complex on the lower level in the main building.