PISCATAWAY, NJ — Thanks to the generous donations of dozens of residents with trunk loads of nonperishable food items and other necessities, county food pantries will be able to restock their shelves with supplies that have been running low from providing services to those in need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
The lines of cars kept driving up to the pop-up drive-thru food collection site in the parking lot in front of the Lowe’s Home Improvement on Saturday, where volunteers filled more than 115 totes with donations earmarked for the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS).
“It hasn’t stopped. Since 9 o’clock this morning, we filled up one van from top to bottom that has taken food out, and we have second van coming in. We have a box truck that’s loaded,” said Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred Scott who coordinated the drive-thru food drive with MCFOODS.
“The donated food will go to directly to the Middlesex County Food Pantry in East Brunswick where it will be sorted and distributed to other pantries throughout the county,” said Scott.
“People have been coming in from all over the county to drop off food,” she continued. “They heard about it through different organizations such as the Middlesex County Black Caucus, the Women’s Federation, the Piscataway Police Department, and the Sheriff’s Office. It’s been a joint effort with all of us working together to feed people who are in need at this time with COVID.”
Other sponsors included the Middlesex County Democratic Organization, Piscataway Democratic Organization, and the Piscataway Lowe’s Home Improvement Center.
“Today has been phenomenal,” said Jane Brady of MCFOODS. “We’re absolutely pleased because there’s been a steady flow that hasn’t stopped, which is excellent for us.”
“All of this food will go to MCFOODS, our county food bank, and then given to the 130 pantries that are part of the MCFOODS network,” Brady explained. “So, this food, while it’s collected in Piscataway will be used all over Middlesex County. Every community in Middlesex has at least one pantry.”
“In the last 8 months, MCFOODS has given out 3 million pounds of food, far more food than it has in a year’s time,” she continued. “The need is so overwhelming which is why these food drives are so critically important. They really help.”
“People came with their entire trunks filled with food to donate,” said Piscataway Councilwoman Chanelle McCullum about the response from the public of food donations. “This one lady brought some donations, and then went back to the store for more saying she didn’t need to get her hair or nails done this week.”
“You feel really good (about making a donation) because some people don’t have any food,” said McCullum. “How do you tell your child, ‘I don’t have any food’? It’s sad.”
The Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS) was created in 1994 to help achieve food security and provide access to nutritionally adequate food and other necessities to all residents in Middlesex County.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.mciauth.com.
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