ROXBURY, NJ - Nixon Elementary School’s Early Act Club last week held its rescheduled Food Drive to help Roxbury Social Services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Nixon Early Act has been busy both in the regular school year and during these Flexible Instruction Days as it is coming at the heels of the Merry Heart drawings and card drive it held a few weeks ago.

For the food drive, Nixon families and community members stopped by the school to donate non-perishable food and other items to support Roxbury Social Services' goal of helping individuals and families in our community.

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Early Act member Kaylee Salamanca explained the drive. “We tried to get as many people as we could to go one at a time to donate food, basically anything that other people needed, and they didn’t have money to buy," she said. "So other people just donated.”

Principal Danielle Lynch acknowledged what Kaylee said adding, “I like that you mentioned that they came one at a time knowing that we’re all trying to make some really healthy choices and keeping our personal space and personal distance," she said. 

Early Act member, Annaleigh Massey and Sam Martin attended the food drive. Annaleigh mentioned in the morning announcements on Thursday that she saw pasta sauce, cereal, cake mix, soup, syrup, wipes and mac and cheese being donated while Sam saw peanut butter, tuna, cookie mix and canned goods. All with the common theme of being non-perishable.

In the morning message, Emily Brown, another Early Act member, thanked all the families and community members for donating.

Lynch shared, “When Annaleigh and Sam just mentioned all the different foods they had seen there Tuesday, and when you put all of that together, that shout-out of appreciation that Emily just gave is so well deserved in our community.”

Early Act Club Advisor Kerry Hamberger, who was present at the collection, said there was so much donated she filled the back and front seats of her car. “We had so much I had to call a friend with their vehicle so we could fill theirs as well," Hamberger said. "We had two carloads full of food.”

Boxes were set up along the sidewalk where people could just drive up, drop off and talk from a distance. “Everyone was really good with their masks on and gloves," Hamberger said. "It was perfect. I was overwhelmed with the response we got for it."

All of the collected non-perishable items were delivered to Roxbury Social Services on Wednesday. “They were overwhelmed with all of the donations we received,” shared Hamberger.

At Nixon School, Early Act is composed of third- and fourth-graders who volunteer to reach out to the community and to the world.

"As far as collection donations, we’ve done so many types of collections - from food drives to making cards for the nursing homes," Hamberger said. "We did a collection for veterans this year, so it’s just reaching out to the community in any way that we can."

Lynch teased that Nixon Early Act has one more effort on the horizon: “We’ll come back soon and release that and share with everyone what that last effort is before we put closure on this school year," she said. "You talk about Roxbury strong? Nixon strong in my opinion! Thank you for your leadership.”