SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Willow Grove "Swim for Food" collection topped 1,359 lbs., crushing last year's record of 1,018 lbs.

Credit goes to to Sean and Patti Merkle for organizing, collecting, and hauling it this year. 

"The donations will go to the Westfield Food Pantry, which services all of Union County," said Patti Merkle. 

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Hunger exists in every community across New Jersey. More than 900,000 people in the Garden State face hunger every day, and nearly 270,000 of them are children, according to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. When they don’t have enough food to eat, they can suffer direct and dramatic effects on their physical development and mental well being. The CFBNJ's more than 1,000 partners – including food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters – ensure that nutritious food is available to families in need year-round. Summer is a time of great need as hunger does not take a vacation. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.