LIVINGSTON, NJ - Saint Barnabas Medical Center, partnering with the Livingston Food Day Committee, Healthy Community and Healthy Youth and Livingston Public Schools, held a special Stuff the Bus event for Livingston’s Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (C.H.O.W.), in honor of its 150th anniversary on Nov. 20. Once again, the healthcare facility, which services all of Essex County and surrounding areas including West Orange and the towns encompassed by West Essex, proved to be a strong community partner.
SBMC employees were asked to participate by department. Together, they stuffed 170 reusable ShopRite bags with a variety of donated healthy non-perishables. The bus also stopped at Livingston Town Hall and several bags of food were donated by township employees.
“We were happy to embrace the spirit of the holiday season by giving to a population in need,” said Margie Heller, administrative director of Community Health and Outreach at SBMC. “Collaborating with Stacey Rubinstein, Alan Karpas, Sister Barbara Howard, and C.H.O.W., has allowed us to ‘give thanks’ as we humbly reflect on all the gifts we have been blessed with. It is through the abundance of the hearts of our employees, staff, and volunteers that we are able to offer our resources to help others and extend ourselves by giving to the community which we have established as our home.”
Stephen P. Zieniewicz, president and CEO of SBMC added, “C.H.O.W. provides critical assistance to individuals and families within Livingston and the surrounding communities. Essex County has the highest incidence of food insecurity in the state at 19.2 percent. C.H.O.W. recognizes this challenge and is committed to making sure our community does not go hungry.”
SBMC representatives expressed that SBMC “proudly” supports this mission, and presented C.H.O.W. with a check for $1,630, which will be used to purchase gift cards for perishable items like milk, meat, fruits and vegetables.
"Saint Barnabas simply amazed us with their generosity," said Howard, who runs C.H.O.W. for the Livingston Interfaith Clergy Association. "The bus was packed with healthy non-perishable food, all of which will go to families in need. C.H.O.W. is able to help families directly but also help other pantries restock their shelves. This really ensures pantries are able to keep their doors open when demand is high and this is a gift for many during the holiday season.”
"Having Saint Barnabas participate in Livingston's Stuff the Bus for C.H.O.W. campaign was a wonderful way to have our local hospital be a part of Livingston's effort to improve access to healthy food for those facing challenging times,” said Stacey Rubinstein, chair of Livingston’s Food Day Committee and C.H.O.W. volunteer. "Saint Barnabas' efforts stocked our pantry and we are so appreciative of the generosity displayed."
For more information on C.H.O.W., call 973-992-1382.