Egg Harbor Twp., NJ – The ACUA’s Food Drive brought in near record amounts of food for the Community FoodBank of NJ’s Southern Branch. Residents in Atlantic County put out bags of canned, nonperishable items with their recycling during the first two weeks of December. ACUA’s recycling collection crews picked up 56,520 pounds of food, or 28.26 tons during the two week drive, a near record amount.
The ACUA’s Holiday Food Drive has been held for the past 18 years and gives residents an easy and convenient way to help the needy while helping the environment. All canned goods collected through the Holiday Food Drive are distributed through the Community FoodBank of NJ, Southern Branch, which provides the donated food to more than 400 local charities for distribution to those less fortunate in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and southern Burlington Counties.
“This year’s collection came close to our record amount, and we thank residents and our collections staff for their efforts to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate,” ACUA president Rick Dovey added.
“The current economic environment has forced more people than ever to reach out to us,” said Evelyn Benton, branch director of the Community FoodBank. While donations are up the demand is at the highest level that it has been in the last 21 years. In November 2007, the FoodBank distributed 337,000 pounds of food. This November, the FoodBank’s southern branch distributed 537,000 pounds of food, 200,000 pounds more than last year, according to Benton. “Food from the ACUA’s Food Drive comes to us after Thanksgiving, when most donations are received. This helps us though the beginning of the year, when donations drop off” said Benton.
Atlantic County residents are encouraged to keep the FoodBank and those it serves in mind after the holidays, and to bring donations to the Community Food Bank, located at 6735 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township. Items most needed are non-perishable foods, such as canned meats, canned soups, canned vegetables, canned stew and canned fruit. Please do not include perishable or frozen items, or food in glass jars.
For more information, contact the Community Food Bank of NJ, Southern Branch, at (609) 383-8843 or the Atlantic County Utilities Authority at (609) 272-6950 or (800) 613-ACUA.