MIDDLESEX COUNTY – The tonnage has been tallied, and volunteers are already sifting through the stockpile of donations from Middlesex County food bank’s biggest drive of the year.

In total, 120 schools participated in the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services’ 2016 Spring School Food Drive, collectively accruing 84,700 pounds of nonperishable items.

“We’d like to thank all the schools, students, parents, faculty and administrators, who took the time and energy to promote the drive and drum-up these donations,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Bellante, liaison to the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, which oversees MCFOODS. “Not everything we teach our children comes from a book, and in this case, students are learning the value of community and the importance of civic engagement. We hope that these are lessons they’ll take with them beyond the classroom and out into the world.”

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In some cases, successful drives found traction through incentives, as donations resulted in everything from a class party to entry into a sporting event to a dress-down day for Catholic school students.

Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies emerged as this year’s top collector with approximately 3,250 pounds of donations to its credit.

In a dead heat, Colonia High School and Mawbey Street Elementary School of Woodbridge both placed second with respective 3,000-pound collections.

“I can’t emphasize enough how desperately we are in need of food during the summertime, when many children are out on break and school lunch subsidies are not an option,” said MCFOODS Project Manager Jennifer Apostol.  “Hands down, the Spring School Food Drive brings in our largest supply of donations. We thank all our participants. Your donations really do make a difference.”

Residents interested in donating nonperishable items at any time of the year may do so at MCFOODS’ permanent drop-off sites located at libraries in East Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen, Milltown, Monroe, North Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainsboro, South Amboy, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, Spotswood and Woodbridge.

 

For more information on MCFOODS’ services, log onto www.mciauth.com, call 609-655-5141 or follow the food bank on Facebook at Mcfoods Network on Twitter @MCFOODSNetwork or on Instagram at mcfoods_network.