Union County News

Second Annual Summit P.D., PBA Local 55 'CommUnity Cares' Food Drive Doubles Year One Collection Totals

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The Summit Police Department delivers the collected food to Family Promise - Union County. Credits: Sandra J. Rodriguez
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Family Promise and Junior League of Summit receive food donations from the Summit Police Department. Credits: Sandra J. Rodriguez
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A Family Promise volunteer stocks the food pantry shelves with donated items. Credits: Sandra J. Rodriguez
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Summit, NJ - The second annual “Summit CommUnity Cares” food drive has resulted in more than 700 pounds of food collected for food insecure families in Union County.  Summit Police Chief Robert Weck and members of the Summit Police Department, along with Summit Policeman's Benevolent Association Local #55 and members of the Summit Police Department joined together with the Summit community to collect a variety of food products including pasta, cereal and canned goods.

The drive, which began on Monday May 23, saw the the Summit Police Department once again partnering with Family Promise - Union County to help distribute food to local families in need. Food donations also benefited the Junior League of Summit’s “No Kid Goes Hungry in 07901,” a program supporting Summit families struggling to provide food for their children in the summer months, as well as the Food Pantry of the First Baptist Church in Elizabeth, where Family Promise – Union County has its Family Center. 

Geleen Donovan, Executive Director of the Family Promise – Union County stated, “We are so very grateful to Chief Robert Weck, Nikki Griffith and the entire Summit Police Department and Summit PBA Local #55 for their generosity and support. It is incredibly moving to know that our community is so supportive of the many families in Union County that are struggling to make ends meet.”

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The program began in 2015 when Nikki Griffith, Administrative Assistant to Chief Weck, met with Family Promise to identify ways to help families in Union County during the summer months. Griffith grew up in modest circumstances herself, and knew that summertime, when school lunches are not available, can be especially tough on families.

She organized the first food drive last year to help local families as part of the police department's initiative to increase community engagement. Family Promise, with its national headquarters located in Summit, has served families in Union County for 30 years.

The initial Drive was deemed a success, with more than 300 pounds of food collected, an amount that was more than doubled this year.

Family Promise President, Claas Ehlers said, “A core principle of Family Promise is that with community engagement we can help address many local problems – neighbors helping neighbors.  The incredible generosity of the Summit Community together with the compassion and initiative of Chief Weck, Nikki Griffith and the entire Summit Police Department, shows how this is possible."           

Family Promise is on a mission to help homeless and low-income families nationwide achieve independence through sustainable housing and using existing community resources and volunteers.

Founded in 1986 in Summit on the belief that Americans are compassionate people who want to make a difference, Family Promise today comprises 202 Affiliates across 42 states and engages 150,000 volunteers from coast to coast. The organization has served more than 500,000 people since its inception.

Nearly 80% of the families served secure permanent or transitional housing after leaving Family Promise. Family Promise’s vision is "a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better tomorrow for themselves and their children."

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