WOODLAND PARK/LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The Beatrice Gilmore School community donated 531 cans of food as part of the "Souper Bowl of Caring - Tackle Hunger" collection drive.

The donations were given to the Food Pantry at St. Agnes' Episcopal Church, located at 65 Union Ave., Little Falls.

"This couldn't come a a better time," Pat Keating, a vestry member of St. Agnes' said, upon arriving at the school to pick up the donation. "We were just cleaned out. This is going to make a tremendous difference." 

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The effort at Beatrice Gilmore was led by teacher Veronica Seavy.

"It is important during these times to think of others that do not have as much as we do," she wrote in a letter about the collection drive. "Our school is proud to announce that we are a National School of Caring. We have partnered with Souper Bowl of Caring to create a unique opportunity for our students to join in a national movement of giving and serving."

St. Agnes' food pantry, which opened in 2012, serves local families by providing supplemental groceries to those who cannot afford enough food to sustain themselves nd their families. Those wishing to make a donation can do so anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a drop box outside the church. The pantry also welcomes and encourages businesses or groups to host a collection drive.

The pantry accepts donations of non-perishable food items such as cereal, peanut butter, canned meats, pasta, canned vegetables, soups, sauce and cat and dog food. Paper products are also accepted. 

Monetary donations are welcome and checks can be made out to and mailed to St. Agnes’ Episcopal Church, 65 Union Ave., Little Falls NJ 07424. Please put "food pantry" in the memo line. Donations can also be made online at http://stagneslf.org/food-pantry.

For more information about the pantry, call 973-256-5020 or email stagneslf@verizon.net.

According to the Center for Food Action, nearly 11 percent of New Jersey residents are food insecure, meaning they do not have an adequate, consistent supply of food. That translates to roughly one million hungry people. In addition, 15 percent of New Jersey children suffer from hunger.