The County of Morris Department of Human Services in conjunction with the Interfaith Food Pantry, Curbing Hunger, Inc. and Volunteer Management Centers started the Morris County Municipal Action to Curb Hunger (McMATCH) food drive competition on September 1, 2012.

All 40 municipalities are eligible to participate in this friendly competition to see which town can raise the most food for one of Morris County’s hunger organizations.  So far, 17 towns have signed up and more are joining the contest every day.

Most food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters have struggled to get through the summer and need a boost as the back to school season arrives.  “As wealthy as it is, Morris County has not been immune to the slow economy,” said Carol McKinney, Executive Director of Volunteer Management Centers. “It costs a lot to live here and there are so many people struggling to make ends meet. In fact, a recent study has revealed that, 18 percent of Morris County households are below the basic cost of living threshold, and 4 percent are at or below the poverty line.”

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Municipalities can choose to participate by organizing traditional food drives, raising money or conducting an online food drive at YouGiveGoods.com

“Our recently introduced food drive contest system is a perfect fit for McMATCH and we’re thrilled to be able to support it,” said Patrick O’Neill, CEO of YouGiveGoods.  He continued, “I think the towns that are running drives on our website find it an easy way to let their community help out.  It’s also a great way to reduce the amount of staff time that would be involved in a traditional drive.”

Neil Henry, Mayor of Mendham Borough agrees, “When we first found out about McMATCH, we were concerned about having the staff to handle a food drive – who would put out the collection boxes, collect the food and deliver it.  With an online drive, we don’t need to do any of that.  YouGiveGoods handles all of the logistics and that means we can focus our energy on creating awareness of our drive. We’ve already generated over $1,000 worth of food donations and we’re just getting started.”

Towns participating in McMatch are grouped into three divisions, by population, to level the playing field.  Contests for each division – Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 – are set up and running at the YouGiveGoods website. 

McMATCH continues until September 24, 2012 followed by an awards ceremony hosted by the Morris County Department of Human Services on September 28, 2012 to recognize the towns that have raised the most food.  According to Frank Pinto, Director of the Morris County Department of Human Services, “This is the first county wide food drive effort.  We’re really pleased with the number of municipalities that have decided to participate in this initiative.  We’re looking forward to making this an annual event.”   Check to see how the contest is going.