MONTVILLE, NJ – When the plea for banana bread bakers went out from the Homeless Bus’ Anna Landgrebe to the Montville community, the kids at the Pine Brook Jewish Center’s preschool day camp picked up their mixing spoons.
The Homeless Bus is a Towaco-based organization headed by Landgrebe and her husband Mark. Together they drive into Manhattan every Saturday evening and with the help of various area businesses, families and organizations, they feed hundreds of homeless people.
After last week’s run, the Landgrebes had six bunches of bananas left over, so they put it out onto Montville Moms on Facebook to ask if anyone could bake the bananas into muffins or sweet bread to hand out at the next run.
Preschool parent Shari Schwartz picked up a bunch, and taught the kids about the Jewish concept of performing a “mitzvah.”
“We’re going to bake muffins, but we’re not going to eat them,” she told the toddlers. “We’re going to help give food to [the Landgrebes] to help people who don’t have enough to eat. It’s a really good deed – a mitzvah.”
The children helped stir, measure and mash, and eventually wound up with almost 100 muffins thanks to ingredient donations from preschool parents.
Landgrebe was thrilled with the results and the response from baking volunteers.
“This group is amazing, it really is,” she said. “I love my community.”