WARETOWN, NJ - With less than 10,000 residents, Ocean Township easily reflects every bit of a small town image. The picture starts with the three member committee, the local schools, and the police and fire department. At the start of the pandemic, members of the police department transformed into "hunger heroes.” Apparently, they continue to take their role quite seriously.
What began as a collection within police headquarters to gift locals with a Friday night pizza, grew in size. The first giveaway was on March 27th. Ultimately, as many as 50 cars lined up to receive their free pizzas. Residents joined in to contribute to the event and local restaurants now have the takeouts available for pickup.
Meanwhile, Ocean Township PBA 371 recognized their help was needed. People who worked hard were suddenly unemployed. The officers decided to expand their service to the community.
"Pastor Dawn Corlew from the Waretown United Methodist Church reached out to us,” said Mike Cicero, President of the local PBA. “She explained the local food banks were in desperate need as a result of the pandemic.”
As it turns out, the families in need were also unable to purchase personal hygiene products. Not only did they not have the funds, but the items were considered non-essential under food stamp guidelines.
"We immediately went into our own PBA funds to help," Cicero shared. “We also began collecting money from the Ocean Township community, and received a great number of monetary donations.”
In the last several weeks, PBA 371 has passed on $15,800 to the local food banks at the United Methodist Church and St. Stephen's Church of Waretown.