Beginning Monday, December 2 and continuing through Friday, December 13, Atlantic County residents are encouraged to place canned goods at the curb on their recycling collection day as part of the 23nd annual Holiday Food Drive. Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) recycling crews will collect the canned goods in conjunction with regularly scheduled recycling pick-ups.
Sponsored by ACUA, the Holiday Food Drive gives residents an easy and convenient way to help the needy while helping the environment. All canned goods collected through the Holiday Food Drive will be distributed through the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, which provides the donated food to more than 280 local charities for distribution to those less fortunate in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and southeastern Burlington Counties. These include pantries, shelters and feeding programs. Last year, the FoodBank distributed more than 40 million pounds of food and grocery items statewide, locally more than 7 million pounds.
The Community FoodBank is especially looking for donations of food items, especially canned soups, meals in a can, peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna and other meats and cereal. Diapers and baby formula are also needed. Please do not include perishable or frozen items, or food in glass jars.
“Unfortunately, our region continues to deal with a double blow of the slow to recover economy and the effects of Superstorm Sandy,” said Margie Barham, executive director of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch. “This means many of our neighbors and friends throughout southern New Jersey are in need of extra assistance,” said Barham. “I can’t stress enough how important this food drive is to us. We count on it every year. The people of Atlantic County and ACUA’s recycling employees have come through in a big way for the food bank in the past and this year we need their help more than ever,” Barham added.
“What sets the ACUA food drive apart is the convenience of setting out a donation, along with recyclables, on the designated day, said Maria K. Mento, ACUA Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer. “ACUA trucks are visiting the majority of homes in Atlantic County once every two weeks. Our collection crews recognize the importance of the food drive, and look forward to collecting lots of donations because they understand that it makes difference in the lives of those served by the Community FoodBank,” Mento added.
Last year, residents answered the food bank’s call for assistance and donated 40,600 pounds of non-perishable food items. “We are hoping to meet or exceed this amount this year,” said Mento.
To participate, just fill any bag, paper or plastic, with your donation and leave at the curb on your recycling day between December 2 and December 13.
Atlantic County residents not serviced through the ACUA curbside recycling program can participate by bringing their donations to the ACUA at 6700 Delilah Rd., or to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey at 6735 Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township. Residents can visit www.acua.com for a complete list of locations.
To learn more about how you can help, contact the Community Food Bank of NJ, Southern Branch, at (609) 383-8843 or visit www.cfbnj.org/southernbranch. For information about the ACUA’s Food Drive, call (609) 272-6950 or visit www.acua.com.