EDISON, NJ - The Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS), recently announced the success of its latest series of school and youth organization food drives. MCFOODS is the County food bank.
From 2016 to 2017, 141 schools and youth organizations donated a total of 135,000 pounds of food, or 64.5 tons. This includes contributions made during the annual Spring School Drive, traditionally the largest drive of the year.
The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, at its June 1 meeting, congratulated the participating students and thanked them for their contributions to the community.
“MCFOODS has always done so much to promote the well-being of our County residents, and it’s great to hear that this year’s food collections were an outstanding success,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “I applaud the efforts of all the young citizens who participated, and all those who donated. Your generosity and hard work make this County the great County it is.”
128 schools participated in the 22nd Annual Spring School Food Drive, donating 48 tons of food. Another 16.5 tons of food was collected by 13 schools and organizations at other times during the year.
The top collecting school districts were Woodbridge (12,850 pounds collected); East Brunswick (12,000 pounds collected) and Old Bridge (10,700 pounds). The East Brunswick, Monroe and Perth Amboy districts had 100 percent of their schools participating in a food drive during the past school year.
Freeholder Blanquita B. Valenti, Chair of the Community Services Committee, said: “MCFOODS has had another series of successful collections thanks to the County’s students. It’s especially good to know that the number of participants has increased, with 8 more schools participating this year. This allowed for 6 additional tons of food to be collected. I hope even more donations will be collected in the years to come.”
The top five overall donors were:
- Old Bridge High School AFJROTC Program, with a donation of 6,800 pounds. More than 100 cadets partnered with several local retailers to collect food in their community.
- East Brunswick Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Crews from Troops 132 and 223 held a two-day drive outside local grocery stores. In total, they collected 5,500 pounds of food and $1,040.63 in monetary donations.
- Mawbey Street School in Woodbridge collected 5,000 pounds of food through a Super Bowl-themed drive called “The Soup-er Bowl.”
- JP Stevens High School’s FCCLA Club in Edison conducted a food drive in September and October in conjunction with Hunger Action Month and another collection in November at the Pines Manor. In total, 4,650 pounds of food was collected. A $500 grant award was also received in recognition of the JP Stevens FCCLA Lead2Feed Student Leadership Program Challenge Project related to their food drives in support of MCFOODS.
- Noor-UI-Ilman School in South Brunswick held its drive through the Community Service Club, collecting 4,000 pounds of food.
Five schools collected between 2,450 pounds and 3,900 pounds, and 10 schools collected between 1,500 pounds and 2,400 pounds.
Deputy Freeholder Director Charles E. Tomaro, Chair of County Administration, said: “So many soup kitchens, shelters and food pantries depend on MCFOODS, so these donations will benefit countless people. I thank Middlesex County’s students for their generous work. I also thank the Middlesex County Improvement Authority for making the MCFOODS drives and collections a continued success.”
H. James Polos, executive director of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, said: “We are extremely grateful for all the donations from Middlesex County’s schools. Their support and generosity will go a long way towards helping those in need.”
For more information on MCFOODS, please visit the Middlesex County Improvement Authority’s website at www.mciauth.com. For information on Middlesex County’s other programs, please visit www.middlesexcountynj.gov