FLEMINGTON, NJ - Even in the worst of times, the generosity of Americans shines through.  

That was evident last month when the Flemington Fire Department held its 1st Annual Food Drive to benefit the Flemington Food Pantry.

At the June 8 meeting, Council Vice President Kim Tilly announced that “because of the generosity of this very generous community, the food drive netted 2,369 pounds of food and $745 in cash, checks and gift cards.”

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Tilly thanked all of the firefighters, exempt members and family members and, in particular, the Food Drive Committee, Robert Motzel, Pete Nemec, Missy Nemec, Bob King and Riley Boyce.

The food drive, held on May 30, included three fire trucks plus the chief’s vehicle traversing borough streets and picking up bagged food items left out curbside. In addition, the department’s ladder fire truck was parked at the Staples shopping center for drop-offs, while volunteers manned the firehouse to accept donations.

“We were looking for a way to give back to the community,” said Missy Nemec.

Jeanine Gorman, the Flemington Food Pantry Executive Director, was extremely appreciative of their efforts.

“The Flemington Fire Company [food drive] was such an amazing success for our pantry community members,” she said. “With the more than two tons of food collected and over $700 in cash and gift cards, we can provide food for 1,869 meals. At the Flemington Area Food Pantry, we serve over 1,300 households who visited us about 11,000 times in 2019. Since the pandemic, the pantry has transitioned to a drive-thru service and has seen a 115 percent increase in new clients, many of whom have never needed social services before. We are only able to carry out our mission with the incredible support of the community, and the fire company drive was great fun and incredibly productive. The noise of the trucks just made a great event out of a very serious issue.”

Help is still needed. Donations to the food pantry can be done safely from outside the building using shopping carts for drop off.

Gorman explained that the food pantry registration process is simple. No documentation is required, it is self-certifying.

“If you say you need food, that’s enough for us,” she said.

Those who pick up up food and supplies can use the drive through window. Additionally, a delivery can be set up for anyone without transportation.

Meal delivery from local restaurants, food or personal care products are all welcome, and particularly needed at this time are canned chicken, cereal, pasta, baking items (cake or brownie mix), gluten free products, toothpaste, laundry detergent and diapers sizes 4-6. Monetary donations are helpful for purchasing produce and meat.

Gorman also asked people to save and donate empty egg cartons.

“We get a lot of bulk egg donations so we need the cartons,” said Gorman.

For more information, to volunteer or donate, visit http://flemingtonfoodpantry.org/.