ROXBURY, NJ - Members of the Roxbury Township Police Department showed up at Kennedy Elementary School on Wednesday. Not for a crime; for an act of pre-Thanksgiving Day goodwill.

The officers came to collect food collected by students for the Roxbury Social Services Food Pantry. The police department holds an annual Thanksgiving Food Drive to assist Roxbury Social Services. Throughout November, Roxbury residents donate non-perishable items at the police department.

In recent years, Kennedy’s Early Act Club advisors, Tina Banta and Rebecca Peppel,Banta and Peppel, would bring third-graders to the police station to drop-off food drive items.They would then tour the station as part of their lessons in civics and community workers.

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The teachers subsequently moved up to fourth grade. Knowing no police station trip was planned this year, Banta reached out to Roxbury Police Chief Marc Palanchi's assistant, Jen Dillard, to see if the police would be willing to come to the school to pick up donated items, a way for the students to continue being part of the annual food drive.

Dillard enthusiastically accepted the request.

Kennedy’s Early Act Club began the Thanksgiving Food Drive earlier this month. Each class collected donations and the class with the most gets special treat. The club is composed of 45 third- and fourth-grade students. It is a school-wide service club for the elementary students and is sponsored by the Roxbury Rotary Club.

Kennedy’s Early Act Club students are Avah Bloom-Hagler, Nick Colatrella, Therese Ohene-Ologo, Katie Rittger, Jack Scalfani, Taylor Schauble, Katelyn Smith, Trinka Sullivan, Brady Boryeskne, Sergio Chico, Tyler Curtis, Wyatt Glasser, Ian Hills, Franco Leon, Natalie Novillo, Henna Patel, Lily Phelan-Fonseca, Amanda Pieklo, Ava Pennisi, Jada Scalfani, Valentina Ambra, Madelynn Anderson, Rebecca Corrado, Dylan Cooper, Cole Fedorchak, Cora Jacobsen, Meghan Lockman, Ava Sabella, William Sullivan, Julianna Uccello, Nicholas Alston, Andrea Bowles, Avery Maida, Griffin Reynolds, Evan White, Mya DeKorte, Emery Scavino, Joshua Tidwell, Katheleen Tusa, Niko White, Brady Batsch, Cymone Stephen, Beau Wawrin, Paul Hakkenberg, and Shay Jackson.

Thanksgiving isn’t the only time of year that Roxbury Social Services needs help. For questions regarding Roxbury Social Services, contact Janet Wald at 973-448-2026.