SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Longo, Spicuzzo and Gonnella families have joined forces to hold a St. Joseph's Day Food Drive to benefit Alice's CUP.

"St. Joseph's Day has been a very special holiday within our extended family for many years," the families said. "It is our family tradition to fill our own plates as we work to fill the plates of others in need."

This year the families decided to reach out to the community to help fill the shelves of the Alice's CUP Food Pantry on Main Street. Alice's CUP assists any Middlesex County resident in need. Currently, the food pantry is feeding more than 300 area families. The food pantry relies solely on donations and volunteers to keep their shelves stocked.

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Donations of non-perishable food items can be left in a shopping bag at 68 Oak Street through Sunday, March 24. Pickups can also be arranged by messaging family members on Facebook. Suggested donation items include:

  • pasta
  • pasta sauce
  • boxed mac and cheese
  • rice
  • stuffing
  • ketchup
  • sugar
  • flour
  • cooking oil
  • cake mix
  • brownie mix
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • cereal
  • granola bars
  • canned vegetables
  • canned beans
  • canned or boxed soups

St. Joseph's Day is celebrated annually on March 19. It is also known as the Feast of Saint Joseph. The Christian holiday honors Joseph, the husband of Mary and step-father to Jesus. In some Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain, St. Joseph's Day is also Father's Day. The Swiss mark St. Joseph's Day with a public holiday. St. Joseph's Day is celebrated across the globe including in the United States with many families marking the day like the Longo, Spicuzzo and Gonnella families with a large family dinner.

"We are excited to keep this tradition going," the families said regarding their first annual food drive. "Your generosity is greatly appreciated."