Family Festival Day at the Oval, which is a community-wide celebration and a key event during Youth Appreciation Week, is scheduled for Saturday, May 26th, from 10AM-3PM. The event offers many family friendly activities including pony rides, a petting zoo, craft tents, face painters, a giant blow-up obstacle course and slides, fire trucks, adopt-a-pet, and a chalk walk, among others. The Family Festival ends in the evening with a Movie under the Stars.
 
While the event is free of charge, this year organizers are asking the community to donate to the event’s food drive as suggested admission and help us STUFF THE BUS WITH FOOD. This is a community wide challenge. Can we fill a large school bus with food? Organizers are counting on it!
The food drive is being run by The Livingston Robotics Club and will be located at the Club’s Jr. FLL (Junior First Lego League) Expo. The Expo, which is the largest outdoor Jr. FLL event in the nation, will be held at the entrance to the Oval by the Library. It will showcase science research projects and LEGO robotics designed by groups of 6 to 9 year olds from many Northern New Jersey towns.
 
All collected food will be donated to Livingston’s C.H.O.W. (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse). C.H.O.W, spearheaded by Sister Barbara Howard of St. Philomena’s and a project of the Livingston Clergy Association, will distribute collected items to Livingston residents in need. Housed at St. Philomena’s, C.H.O.W. is also open to local residents in need on a drop-in basis and those interested can contact Sister Barbara at (973) 992-1382 for additional information. Excess food collected during the drive will be donated to soup kitchens and food
pantries in our surrounding areas.
 

The non-perishable items requested for collection are: canned tuna, peanut butter, napkins, toilet tissue, paper towels, breakfast cereal, condiments, canned beans, dried beans, pasta, white or brown rice, pasta sauces, macaroni & cheese, powdered milk, canned fruit, canned vegetables, baby food and jelly & jam. Only new, unopened items will be collected. Please make sure items are not expired and healthy items are appreciated.
 
Livingston is home to families with financial troubles, said Sister Barbara, who manages the warehouse. Families often come to the warehouse at St. Philomena Church on South Livingston Avenue for groceries, and help with items not covered by government assistance, including diapers and cleaning supplies. In addition, C.H.O.W. helps senior citizens pay heating bills in winter months.
 
This year, the Robotics Club focused on food safety as its community service component, and this food drive presents a great opportunity to close the season with a final community service project focused on a
worthy food related cause. In addition to the food drive, the Expo will also host special exhibitions and enrichment activities for participants including:
 
• A 45-minute interactive show about the chemistry behind food
• Hands-on experiments related to science and food
• Robotics demonstrations by Livingston Robotics Club teams (middle
and high school age members).
 
Special thanks to the Livingston Public Schools for providing a schoolbus and helping us to challenge the community to STUFF THE BUS WITH FOOD. We are confident that our town can fill that bus and help feed those in need. Thank you in advance for being a part of this community service effort.