VERONA, NJ - The Junior Woman’s Club of Verona will kick-off this year’s Verona Fights Hunger Week on Sunday, October 8, 2017. The town-wide food drive will run through Saturday, October 14, 2017. The food drive will benefit the Human Needs Food Pantry of Montclair, which serves Bloomfield residents, and the Food Pantry at Church of the Holy Spirit in Verona.
Verona is a community that is grounded in the spirit of volunteerism and giving. In the fight against hunger, Verona unites as a collective group, connected by the common thread of wanting to make a difference. Local businesses, civic groups, charities, religious organizations and each school in town participate in this “supersized” food drive.
Verona Fights Hunger Week will kick-off with a shop and drop event hosted by King’s on Sunday, October 8, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Additional shop and drop events will take place at King’s throughout the week from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. King’s will have pre-filled grocery bags on hand, allowing customers to make “grab and go” donations at check out. King’s has generously supplied the brown paper donation bags that will be available for Verona Fights Hunger Week donations.
In addition to collecting food items at King’s, the Juniors will collect donations at Walgreen’s in Verona on Sunday, October 8 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Tuesday, October 10, from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm and Friday, October 13 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
During Verona Fights Hunger Week, there will be a variety of dine out events that will benefit Verona Fights Hunger Week:
- Monday, 10/9 Dine out for Hunger at Verona Diner (lunch)
- Monday, 10/9 Dine out for Hunger at Ariane Kitchen and Bar (dinner)
- Tuesday, 10/10 Dine out for Hunger at the Verona Inn (dinner)
- Wednesday, 10/11 Dine out for Hunger Frank Anthony’s (dinner)
- Thursday, 10/12 Dine out for Hunger at Lakeside Deli (take out dinner)
On October 14, 2017, The Juniors will celebrate the culmination of Verona Fights Hunger Week on the steps of the Verona Town Hall. The celebration will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. A donated moving truck from Casella and Sons will be filled with the donations and driven to the food pantries.
Three years ago, in response to this growing crisis of hunger in our community, the Juniors organized the first ever Verona Fights Hunger Week. Each year, the project is a huge success. Collectively, the Juniors collected and donated over 4,500 bags of food in 2014 thru 2016. This year, the Juniors hope to significantly increase the number of bags collected.
As Verona Fights Hunger Week grows, the number of suburban residents living in or at risk of poverty and hunger has risen dramatically in recent years. A 2016 Study of Financial Hardship issued by the United Way found that of New Jersey's 3.2 million households, 11% live below the federal poverty line and 26% earn less than the basic cost of living for our state. The same report shows that 21% of the population in Verona earns less than the basic cost of living for our state and 4% of residents live below the federal poverty line.
Verona Fights Hunger Week is seeking donations of healthy breakfast cereals, toiletries, boxed milk, condiments, laundry detergent, ground coffee, diapers, infant formula, and healthy canned goods.
Drop off locations for donations include Kings Food Market, Verona Community Center, Verona Town Hall, Verona Public Library, Our Lady of the Lake (Church and School), Platinum Fitness, The Towne Scoop, Hardbodyz Fitness, and Jazzercise Verona.