ROXBURY, NJ - After a month of collecting donations for the Roxbury Food Pantry, it came time for Standard Tile of Roxbury store manager Brandon Curtis to deliver the items to Roxbury Social Services.
That’s when the food drive, already a good deed, also became an educational opportunity.
Instead of just driving the bags over to the Food Pantry alone, Curtis grabbed his sons – Matthew, 15, and Tyler, 9 – and brought them along to help. “I have two young kids,” he explained. “I want them to grow up to do the right things. To extend a helping hand to people in need and realize how fortunate they are to have all of the things they have.”
At the Food Pantry, Brandon and his boys not only saw shelves in need of filling but also met some of the less fortunate people of Roxbury. “There was a mother there, with her kids, needing to pick up a list of groceries,” Curtis said. “This woman was looking for breakfast and lunch food.”
The 36-year-old Curtis, a Succasunna resident who’s been with Standard Tile since 1999, said he hosted the food drive at Standard Tile as a way of giving back to his town. Customers who brought items to the Route 10 store for the food drive received a 20 percent discount on purchases.
“I’m a member of this community,” Curtis said. “I wanted to help out. I’d heard, through a couple of Roxbury police, that they collected items in the police station. I see a lot of people every day so I said I should do something too.”
Standard Tile of Roxbury is a TAPinto Roxbury and TAPinto Randolph sponsor.
The food drive, which took place from mid-July to mid-August, yielded about three shopping carts’ worth of items for the Food Pantry, said Curtis, who also gave a monetary donation when he and his sons delivered the items Aug. 23.
Curtis and Roxbury Social Services Director Janet Wald noted that summer is particularly tough for struggling parents because – with school being out – they can’t rely on school lunches to help feed their kids. Wald also pointed out that fewer people think about making charitable donations in the summer, compared to during the holidays.
She said she really appreciated Curtis’ efforts and those of all others in the township who keep the Food Pantry going. “Our shelves are very low right now,” Wald said. “We’re always out of paper products.”
Wald, walking the Food Pantry aisles, also saw a need for dishwasher and laundry detergent, canned meats, snacks for kids, Pop-Tarts, mayonnaise and Chef Boyardee products.
Curtis asserted it’s important for local businesses to do what they can to give back to the towns in which they operate. “A lot of the pride I feel about it has to do with my uncle’s father, who just passed away, “Curtis said, referring to Bill Spina Sr., who founded the Standard Tile store in Succasunna in 1963.
“I definitely feel a need to not only run a successful business but to make sure that Standard Tile is a big part of this community. If I do those things I know I will make him proud,” Curtis said.