NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Middlesex County freeholders had one request of people attending stage productions during the annual Plays in the Park program: bring non-perishable foods to donate.

During those performances this year, the residents responded generously, the freeholders say, bringing in more than a half a ton of food.

"Over the course of three shows, 25 bins of food, which equals 1,250 pounds, were collected, and $3,818.75 was donated to the non-profit Feeding Middlesex County," Tomaro said at the freeholders meeting Thursday.

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All the donations go to the food bank of the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services, or MCFOODS.

"Is was extremely helpful," said MCFOODS coordinator Jennifer Apostle. The county food bank distributes to food pantries across Middlesex County, including more than a dozen in New Brunswick.

"The summer is our most challenging time of the year," Apostle said, describing the difficulty of gathering donations.

"This was helpful not only for the food, but for the connections of meeting people and getting volunteers and getting companies to participate in having collections," Apostle said.

The county program put on the three shows,  "fiddler on the Roof" in June,  "Momma Mia!" in July and "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" in August, all at the Stephen J. Capestro Theater in Roosevelt Park.

Donations will again be collected at the Freeholders' annual free "Labor Day Weekend concert Sept. 2 at the Capestro Theater, Tomaro said.

"This is perfect timing since September is Hunger Action Month, and the goal is to raise awareness on the issue of hunger and get people to take action against hunger," Tomaro said.

"If you can't make the show, please consider hosting a food drive for MCFOODS or making a donatin to Feeding Middlesex County. MCFOODS can provide bins to store donations in and transport all food donation to its warehouse (in East Brunswick)," Tomoaro said.

Monetary donations can be made out to Feeding Middlesex County, and sent to PO Box 781, Edison, N.J. Edison, 08810, he said.