With South Brunswick's Food Pantry still reeling from an overwhelming number of new families in need of help, the Social Services Department was aided by a recent food drive from the township's elected officials in the 16th District.
Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Assembly members Jack M. Ciattarelli and Donna Simon last week delivered boxes of food that were collected in their district offices to the pantry.
"The donations from Assemblyman Ciattarelli, Assemblywoman Simon and Senator Bateman, who came with (South Brunswick Township Councilman) John O’Sullivan, was a welcome surprise," said Social Services Director LouAnne Wolf. "They read about current lack of food in the pantry and helped us out when needed."
The donations came at a time when the pantry was dealing with depleted shelves as the number of families needing help to put food on the table spiked to record numbers over the summer.
In July, . That number was eclipsed in August, as 81 families sought assistance from the pantry.
“Although our communities are very generous and the food pantry volunteers work very hard, we just cannot keep up with demand,” Ciattarelli said. “It’s important to remember the families in our community who need food and school supplies for their children.”
According to a 28 percent of Middlesex County residents are not making enough money to meet the needs of their families. An Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) household is considered one that is above the poverty level, but is below a basic cost of living threshold.
“Our hearts go out to those in need 365 days a year,” Simon said. “No family should be without food and I encourage everyone to reach out and support families in need.”
Despite recent the pantry simply can't keep up with the rising number of families who need help.
“We thank our caring constituents for their contributions, which certainly helped alleviate the pantry’s struggles in matching donations with their increased distribution to families in need,” Bateman said. “It is an honor and duty to help the pantry’s resilient community, so that they may continue providing to those down on their luck or homeless.”
South Brunswick Social Services is still in need of food and monetary donations to help meet the needs of the rising population of less fortunate families.
Items most needed:
- Canned Coffee
- Canned Vegetables
- Peanut Butter and Jelly
- Healthy snack foods
- Canned fruits in light syrup
- Boxed Milk
- Boxed Potatoes
- Boxed Rices/Quinoa/Couscous
- Canned Tomatoes
- Pancake Mix and Syrup
- Canned chicken, water packed tuna, beef stew and chili
- Chef Boyardee Pastas
- Water and Juices
To donate or volunteer for South Brunswick Social Services, call 732-329-4000 ext. 7674.
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