With July bringing in a record number of families seeking aid from the South Brunswick Food Pantry, a group of young township girls are doing their part to help the less fortunate.
Indian Fields Elementary School students Ariana Carbone and Pooja Patel held a lemonade stand earlier this month that raised over $50 for the pantry. The girls also gathered non-perishable food items after going around their neighborhood collecting food using a wagon.
"We donate every year to the food pantry usually around the holiday time, but Ariana asked me what happens to donations for the rest of the year," said Ariana's mother Dawn Carbone. "I told her the same thing happens, but the pantry gets less food this time of year. So Ariana and our neighbor Pooja wanted to do something for the pantry and came up with the idea for the lemonade stand."
The girls volunteered for about three hours collecting $57 with a stand on Lincoln Lane. Ariana and Pooja also made signs to attract attention and put their best sales tactics to work.
"They were holding up signs and yelling at cars as they went past," Dawn said. "It was awesome, they were both very excited to help. They had a great time, and it was amazing to see them organize the whole thing. They got together and planned it on their own. The only thing I did was get the lemonade. But they're both looking forward to doing this again."
The drive came on the heels of young South Brunswick students Justice Sensakovic and Katie Hallihan, who held a food drive in their Wexford neighborhood, going door to door before donating a cart filled with food.
The volunteer work by the girls comes at a time when help is desperately needed.
"We had 72 families come in for help in July, which just blew me away," said Social Services Director LouAnne Wolf. "That was our largest number ever. We had 10 new families just last month. People can't make ends meet, they still can't find work and their unemployment is stopping."
With the increasing need from less fortunate families in South Brunswick, Wolf said she was touched by the efforts of the township's youngest volunteers.
"It warms my heart, there is nothing better than seeing kids help others who have less than they have," she said. "My hope is always that they will have gotten such joy from helping others that they will continue to do so moving forward."
If any other township kids want to hold their own food drives for the pantry, they can contact Social Services at 732-329-4000 ext. 7674 for more information about how to put one together from start to finish.
The South Brunswick Food Pantry is currently in need of the following items:
- Healthy snack foods
- Canned vegetables
- Parmalot or boxed milk
- Boxed potatoes
- Boxed rice
To donate or volunteer for South Brunswick Social Services, call 732-329-4000 ext. 7674.
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