SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - This past week, the South Brunswick township saw multiple charity drives that were organized by department heads, restaurants, and private citizens to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations have been stacked up all around the community and been given to hospitals and those who are isolated and need supplies. As of today, there are 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Brunswick.
The South Brunswick School District has spent the past week collecting medical supplies to donate to the EMS and local police force to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. They were able to collect 7000 pairs of gloves, 800 surgical masks, 400 pediatric masks. Thermometers and emergency medical bags. As of today, there are 25 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in South Brunswick Township.
“This week has been challenging for everyone, but as a community, we are getting through it together. There has been a lot of people helping out and I want to make sure the community knows about all the positive actions people are taking.” said the Director of the Office of Emergency Management Raymond Hayducka.
South Brunswick Social Services conducted held a fundraiser last week to collect food and donations for the local Food Pantry. They were able to collect thousands of food items and over $20,000 in financial donations. The Food Pantry is currently organizing efforts to deliver care packages to those who need them.
Local restaurants have also been stepping up to provide services during a statewide ‘Stay at Home’ order. Cafe Amici, a local Italian restaurant, has delivered meals to the entire emergency room staff at Raritan Bay Medical Center. A local WaWa and Capriccio's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria have all donated food to the police department this week.
Local citizens have taken action to collect donations during this pandemic. Lisa Rodgers, a member of the South Brunswick Board of Education operating as an independent citizen, recently collected supplies at her home to donate to Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas and St. Peters. Rodgers decided to conduct this charitable drive after hearing from Joanne Arico, the Director of Patient Care - RWJ Barnabas, about her inability to find any supplies for herself at a grocery store after working a 12-hour shift.
“So I decided to go onto Facebook to 2 sites: South Brunswick Cares About Schools and South Brunswick Community and ask residents if they would be willing to donate to the local hospitals. The Community was wonderful, "Rodgers said in an email. “I know it is frustrating that the community needs to come together to support our hospitals in this day and age. But we must look past the frustration and each of us must find ways to contribute.”
Rodgers was able to collect over 300 different soups; 300 rolls of toilet paper, twelve 8-lb bags of navel oranges, 16 bunches of bananas; 100 packs of facial wipes; over 300 pairs of socks, five pairs of Crocs; and many bags of snacks. Donations were made mostly by individuals, but groups such as Union 9 Plumbers and Pipefitters donated 96 rolls of toilet paper and Board and Brush donated 12 packs of gloves. Donations were collected on a table outside of Mrs. Rodger’s home, all products were properly wiped down and sanitized before being donated.
Another private resident, Marci Shwab of Monmouth Junction, was able to collect donations for the South Brunswick High School student who tested positive for COVID-19. She was able to raise over $1,500 for the family.