NUTLEY, NJ - 'Carts of Caring,' a ministry of Franklin Reformed Church, 'left the building' for the 100th Anniversary Township of Nutley Memorial Day Parade because "Hunger Doesn't Take A Summer Vacation" when Nutley Public Schools let out for the summer.
Rev. Jill Fenske explained that she, and the congregation, first learned about the challenge faced by children in Nutley from a fellow church member. Families of children who are enrolled in the free and reduced school lunch program are faced with an additional burden once the program ends with the end of school.
Fenske further explained that Thanksgiving and Christmas are the big donation periods for food pantries, as well as the annual 'Scouting for Food' drive in March, but donations drop off outside of those time frame, even as the need remains.
Members of Franklin Reformed Church brainstormed and the rest is 'Carts of Caring' history. Fenske explained that the memorial day parade is one of the last big township events before the end of school, making it the ideal time for the church to leave the building and serve the community. The shirts, "FRC has left the building," is their motto for going outside the walls of their church to serve as they have been called to do by God.
For each of the last several years, members of the church pushed shooping carts, on loan from Nutley Park ShopRite, the entire parade route. Residents and spectators dropped non-perishable food items into the carts as they passed. Another group walked with buckets to collect cash donations. Those cash donations will be used to purchase fresh and frozen food for the pantry clients.
At the end of the parade, congregants reminded us that "Hunger Does Not Take A Summer Vacation," and left with the message that donations of food, especially "kid-friendly" items like peanut butter, cereal, and tuna, can be dropped off at Nutley Family Service Bureau's food pantry at 169 Chestnut Street any time.
Eileen Painter, Executive Director of Nutley Family Service Bureau, shared that this year's results look better than years past.
More details about the results of the 2019 'Carts of Caring' event will follow soon, as will more news about the Memorial Day parade..Yantacaw PTO 'Priceless Price' winners Tino and Makenna were embedded with the 'Carts of Caring as photographer and reporter for the day. Their work will follow as well.
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