NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Organizers from the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS) are taking stock of this year's donations, according to a press release.

MCFOODS, to date, received 62.17 tons of food from October and November drives alone, according to the organization.

 “Generosity runs deep here in our region,” said Jennifer Apostol, project manager for the Middlesex County Improvement Authority, which manages MCFOODS’ operation.  “But the holidays are our busy season, when the number of drives climbs and donations are at their height.  If this is a good year, then hopefully, collections should tide us over until spring.”

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The donations have been a collaborative effort with supporters including New Brunswick officials, the Feeding New Brunswick Network and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey,

According to the release, donations exceeding 12,000 pounds have also found their way to MCFOODS by way of area youth.

Upper and underclassmen from Old Bridge High School’s Junior ROTC program, members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America at John P. Stevens High School in Edison, multiple troops from the East Brunswick Boy Scouts of America and the student bodies from Metuchen High School and Murray A. Chittick Elementary School in East Brunswick also ran successful drives across the region.

“Sometimes children are the best teachers we have,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Bellante, liaison to the MCIA. “We can learn so much from their compassion, their generosity and their respect for others, regardless of his or her station in life. I want to commend our young citizens for their efforts to help Middlesex County’s struggling families and individuals – you give us all something to aspire to.”

Jennifer Scola partnered with Colleen Williams and Ken Bricket, director at  Nicolas Markets Foodtown of Colonia.

Together with businesses like the Colonia Natural Pharmacy, the VCA Iselin Animal Hospital and the Colonial Fire Department, Scola converted her grief by collecting more than 2,100 pounds of nonperishable items in honor of her late mother, according to the release.

Scola inspired many to roll up their sleeves for a good cause and as a result, rolled out a reserve of supplies for needy families, the release said.

“It’s a hallmark of this time of year – giving and being thankful,” Apostol said.  “We have so many people to thank: businesses, corporations, children and teens, schools, churches, families, friends and all of those organizations and individuals who are at the very heart of what we do here at MCFOODS. We’d like to thank you all on behalf of the thousands of lives you have touched.”

Permanent drop-off sites for MCFOODS are located at participating libraries in: East Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen, Milltown, Monroe, North Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Piscataway, Plainsboro, South Amboy, South Brunswick, South Plainfield, Spotswood and Woodbridge.

For further details on MCFOODS or hosting a food drive, log onto www.mciauth.com, call 609-655-5141 or follow the food bank on Facebook at Mcfoods Network on Twitter @MCFOODSNetwork or on Instagram at mcfoods_network.