NUTLEY, NJ - Each year, members of the Franklin Reformed Church congregation march in Nutley's annual Memorial Day parade as a part of the 'Carts for Caring' ministry. 2020 would have marked the fifth year in a row that the congregants marched to benefit the food pantry operation of Nutley Family Service Bureau. 

Memorial Day is often referred to as the unofficial start of summer, but for people working with supplemental nutrition programs, summer is also the start of the time of year that donations drop just as need rises.  Donations of food always hit peaks at Thanksgiving, and then again at the end of the year, but summer is traditionally a slow period for donations. This year remains especially tough on the local food pantry as the annual Scouting for Food drive in March was canceled because of COVID-19.

To meet that need, the congregants at Franklin Reformed Church (FRC), join the parade pushing carts loaned to them by Nutley Park ShopRite. Parade-goers fill the carts with non-perishable food, and many more drop cash into one of the many collection cans carried by the team. The 2020 Memorial Day Parade was canceled because of coronavirus, but 'Carts of Caring' was not. 

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Always among the first to put faith into action in innovative ways, the team who usually declare "Franklin Reformed Church has left the building," are now saying "Carts of Caring has moved online. For 2020, FRC is hosting a virtual parade event. 

Everyone is invited to join the parade! To donate go to https://www.nutleyfamily.org/ (push the purple “donate” button then fill in the form), donate through the mail or in the drop box of the NFSB building at 155 Chestnut Street, Nutley. Then invite your friends!

To keep the parade going all week, the community is invited to visit FRC's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FranklinReformedChurch and share the “I joined the virtual parade to benefit NFSB” post to your timeline or story! The more people you tell, the more people can be served. 

Photos of 'Carts of Caring' are from the TAPinto Nutley archive of parades past.

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