Help 'Curb Hunger' in June at Curbside

Help ‘Curb Hunger’ in June at Curbside

Posted on June 2, 2015

Freeholder Director Mark Caliguire is urging Somerset County residents to support the 21st annual Curbing Hunger Month food drive.

State Sen. Kip Bateman, members of the Freeholder Board and food bank supporters joined Freeholder Director Caliguire at the Food Bank Network of Somerset County to launch this year’s program, which will help boost food supplies there and at the Franklin Township Food Bank and other local food pantries serving Somerset County residents.

The Curbing Hunger food drive will be held in June to benefit organizations that help the hungry in Somerset County.  For the third year, there is an easy online donation option as well.  Visit www.CurbingHunger2015.org to select and purchase food to donate; food items will be delivered directly to the local food bank by Amp Your Good, which is hosting the online drive on its website.

“The demand at local food banks still exceeds supplies on a regular basis,” said Freeholder Director Caliguire.  “The recession, followed by Superstorm Sandy three years ago, both have taken a tremendous toll on the economic situations of many Somerset County families. Despite Somerset County’s reputation as one of the wealthiest counties in the Northeast, hunger in our communities is very real.”

Food supplies are traditionally low during the summer months, when school lunch programs close and there are no holiday food drives.  That’s why the Curbing Hunger food drive is held in June to help alleviate this annual shortage.

Orange plastic bags were distributed to county households in May – look for them tied to the handle of your recycling container. You can use any plastic grocery bag if you didn’t receive an orange one. Place canned food donations in the bags and leave them at the curb on your regularly scheduled recycling collection days from June 1 through 26.

High on the list of needed items are Parmalat milk, canned meat and fish, “meals-in-a-can” such as pasta, stews and meaty soups, canned tomato sauce, canned fruits, and peanut butter and jelly in plastic jars. Perishables and food in glass containers cannot be accepted. For ideas about healthy foods to donate, go to http://bit.ly/FoodPantryDonations

Food Bank Network Executive Director Marie Scannell said her organization is now serving about 1,350 families a month.  “We’re really looking forward to the Curbing Hunger Month food drive to be a success,” she said.  “We rely so heavily on these donations to keep our shelves stocked.”

Curbing Hunger Inc. President Chuck Knill announced the newly formed Curbing Hunger Youth Council, a group of middle- and high-school youth dedicated to helping the hungry locally. “Young people today are growing up in a digital world, so helping to organize an online food drive is a natural fit for them,” he said.

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 this year are the Courier News and MyCentralJersey.com; Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.; Ashland Inc.;and the PeopleCare Center for Nonprofits Inc. 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 2.2 million pounds of food have been collected statewide, valued at over $3.5 million.  More than half a million pounds have been collected in Somerset County alone.

If you miss either of your recycling days in June, curbside donations are collected year-round as well.  Use one of the orange bags or any plastic grocery bag to place canned food at the curb on any of your recycling collection days throughout the year.

Donations of non-perishable food also are accepted at the First Saturday of the Month recycling drop-offs held at the Somerset County Recycling Center at 40 Polhemus Lane in Bridgewater.

Source: Somerset County Office of Public Info

Date: 6/02/15