SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - The sixth annual Adopt-A-Family program is returning to provide Thanksgiving meals for needy families.

"We often hear that people want to help others within their own community," Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia Walsh said in a release. "This is a perfect way for residents to earmark donations to help feed needy families in their own or neighboring towns."

The estimated cost of a meal is $40, and anyone wanting to donate can send a check to the following programs:

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  • Food Bank Network of Somerset County, P.O. Box 149, Bound Brook, NJ 08805
  • Franklin Township Food Bank, P.O. Box 333, Somerset, NJ 08875
  • Hillsborough Food Pantry, Attn: Social Services Department, 379 South Branch Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844
  • Fish of North Plainfield, Holy Cross Church, 40 Mercer Avenue, North Plainfield, NJ 07060
  • Reformed Church of Bound Brook, Main Street & Clinton Street, South Bound Brook, NJ 08880
  • Samaritan Homeless Interim Program Inc. (SHIP), 87 E. High St., Somerville, NJ 08876

On the memo line of the check, the release said, write Adopt-A-family, and the name of town where the donation should go. If $40 is too difficult, any amount will be accepted gratefully.

The Food Bank Network and SHIP serve residents throughout the county, while the Franklin, Hillsborough and North Plainfield programs serve residents within their towns. The church serves Bound Brook and South Bound Brook.

For more information, call the Food Bank Network at 732-560-1813; Franklin Township Food Bank at 732-246-0009; the Hillsborough department at 908-369-3880; North Plainfield at 908-561-9340; the church at 732-356-9345; and SHIP at 908-393-9545.

The donation form can be found at

The program, the release said, was created by Ray Walsh, of Manville.

"Our local food banks have seen a tremendous increase in the number of people seeking help during the past few years due to the recession," he said in the release. "The goal of the Adopt-A-Family program is to make Somerset County the first in New Jersey to feed all of its needy residents."