Giving Back

Coles Students Donate over 3,000 Lunches to The Needy

Students and committee members celebrate the Sharing Lunches program. Back row: Elaine Khan, Kathy Manara, Lt. Dante Cox, Hope Alfieri Front Row: Olivia DiFabio, Ella Arimenta, Jack Crowley

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- J. Ackerman Coles School in Scotch Plains-Fanwood has been busy collecting lunches to share with neighbors in need. In 2014, the PTA Kid’s Care Committee started a program called “Sharing Lunches”. Each month, on a designated day, the children at Coles School (grades Pre-K-4th) pack an extra brown bag lunch and bring it in to “share.”  The lunches collected are brought to the Salvation Army in Plainfield, where they are given to patrons of their daily soup kitchen.  

Bagged lunches are packed with love by students at Coles and make their way to children only a few miles away who are hungry, to families that are struggling, and to older people who have a need. The collections have grown over the last four years, driven by contests where the classes and grades compete for which can bring in the most bags. So far this year Coles has donated 3,125 lunches.  

Lieutenant Dante Cox from the Plainfield Chapter of the Salvation Army came to Coles School in June to thank the students for their generosity. He presented them with a Certificate of Appreciation and expressed his gratitude for the all of the donations over the last year. The Salvation Army is located at 615 Watchung Ave., Plainfield, where they run a daily soup kitchen open to the public.

For more information or if you are interested in starting a Sharing Lunches program in your school, please contact Kathy Manara or 908-322-0248.

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