ROXBURY, NJ – Not everybody checking-out in “her” aisle Thursday at the Succasunna Shoprite knew who she was, so Jaki Albrecht got pretty good at her elevator speech.

As she bagged groceries as part of the annual Shoprite “Help Bag Hunger” event, Albrecht explained she was a member of the Roxbury Mayor and Council. And for some, she couldn’t help but express how happy she was about that.

“I love it,” she told one shopper. “I just love it.”

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In the adjacent aisle, also doing his part as a bagger, state Sen. Anthony Bucco – who is also Roxbury’s township attorney – was greeting shopper/constituents in a less effervescent – but well-practiced – fashion.

Farther down the line, Roxbury Councilman Richard Zoschak had an even better idea: He was standing back chatting with folks as his wife Diana Zoschak handled the bagging duties.

Also shoving purchases into plastic bags and talking to townsfolk were Roxbury Police Chief Marc Palanchi and Roxbury School Board Member Anne Colucci.

Asking for Donations

“ShopRite of Succasunna celebrated "Help Bag Hunger" with honorary guests and local dignitaries today,” said Allison Ryan, a spokesperson for RoNetco Supermarkets, which owns the store. “These "celebrity" baggers helped pack groceries and accepted gracious donations to continue the fight against hunger in our community.”

Ryan said the event is one of many that take place at Shoprite during September to raise awareness for the ShopRite Partners in Caring program. “All proceeds are distributed to local food pantries in Morris, Sussex and Warren counties,” she said.

Since it began in 1999, ShopRite Partners in Caring has donated more than $40 million to more than 2,000 charities, including local food banks, according to RoNetco. During Bag Hunger, and other events in September, cashiers are accepting donations and asking customers to “round up for change” to help the pantries.

Bucco said he finds it important to participate in the Help Bag Hunger event every year.  “While we have an affluent county, we still see that many people with hunger,” he said. “And on days like today, where we can do something for the community and to make sure that people who need the food can get the food, is a good day in Morris County.

Albrecht said she, too, found the morning of volunteerism to be rewarding. “I get to see all of our friends and neighbors and it’s for a good cause,” she said.

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