Letter to the Editor 

On behalf of the Verona Junior Woman’s Club of Verona, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Verona community for its contributions to the great success of Verona Fights Hunger Week 2019. Together, we donated over 1,600 bags of healthy food and personal care items and raised over $4,000 to fight hunger in our local community. Thank you to everyone involved for making Verona Fights Hunger Week 2019 a great success.

The face of hunger has changed and we do not have to go farther than our own neighborhoods to realize that there are people in need. Suburban poverty is often a silent struggle but through a truly collective effort, Verona helped bring to light the fact that hunger can affect anyone. 

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Just as important as the bags of food collected and money raised, Verona Fights Hunger Week is truly neighbors helping neighbors. Our town’s citizens recognize their civic duty to help those who struggle to maintain life’s most essential and basic needs. 

Donations this year supported The Human Needs Pantry and the Holy Spirit Food Pantry. The Montclair Human Needs Pantry is a local food bank that supports Verona residents in need as well as residents of 11 surrounding towns and currently has over 1,000 families registered for assistance. The Holy Spirit Food Pantry is located in Verona and continues to grow and serve more families each month, with 42 clients served last month. 

While Verona Fights Hunger Week is an initiative organized by the Junior Woman’s Club of Verona, it is truly the entire town that rallies together to make it so successful. 

The Juniors would like to thank Kings Food Market for their continued support of our efforts in Verona Fights Hunger Week.

The success of this drive depends on the engagement of our youngest citizens. We are grateful to the support of Mr. Rui Dionisio and the Verona Public Schools for their involvement. We are especially grateful to Mrs. Stacey Smith and Mrs. Stefanie Lijoi of the HBW Dream Team. A special thank you to Mrs. Michele Dellavortuna for running the cereal drive at VHS. Together, they led the charge in getting students to donate 2,500 items. 

We also thank the families of Our Lady of the Lake School and Church community for their incredible support, as well as Creative Beginnings, Executive Kids, Serenity, and Love, Laugh, Learn preschools which all hosted collection bins. We would also like to thank the local houses of worship in Verona who supported the cause by passing out donation bags to their congregations. We thank the many Brownie troops and Cub Scouts who supported the food drive and our shop and drops. 

Once again, many local businesses and local Dr. offices contributed to this great effort. Thank you to Walgreen's Verona, Verona Inn, Frank Anthony’s Gourmet Italian Restaurant, Blue Hippo, Ariane Kitchen & Bar, Guac Spot, Lakeside Deli and DJ Emilio D’Amato. 

Thank you to the Verona Public Library, the Township of Verona, Mayor Jack McEvoy and the Town Council for their support and recognition. Our very own Chief Kiernan and the Verona Police Officers for their donations and support. 

A huge thank you to Casella and Sons Moving Service. This effort truly would not be possible without them. 

Lastly, we would like to thank the Junior Woman's Club members who volunteered countless hours to make this project run smoothly. The collective enthusiasm of these women drove this community effort. 

Sincerely,

Megan Podber and Meghan Kelly 

Verona Fights Hunger Week 2019 Co-Chairs