SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – A six-hour fundraising event sponsored by ACME last weekend will greatly benefit the South Plainfield Senior Center for weeks to come.

On Aug. 12, the Oak Tree Road supermarket ran a fundraiser to help raise money for the center’s senior breakfast program. At the end of the day, $765 was raised and used to purchase three carts full of non-perishable breakfast food items such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, jelly, almond butter, Nutella, rice cakes, cookies, nuts, and more as well as items that can be frozen, including bagels, waffles, English muffins, and bread.

“I am extremely thankful to everyone at ACME for hosting this event. They provided everything on our wish list,” said Tree Olano, director of the South Plainfield Senior Center who, along with outreach coordinator Linda Fiore, was on hand throughout the day Saturday. 

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“We are happy to help the seniors; they have definitely been supportive of us and we are happy to support and them,” said Linda Schutzbach, front end manager at ACME of South Plainfield. “We are glad to help the community any way we can.”

During the fundraiser, chips, soda, hot dogs and various store and homemade baked goods were available to patrons coming in and out of the store and there were raffles for gift baskets courtesy of ACME and gift cards donated by ACME, Subway, Pinot’s Palet and 9 Rounds Fitness in Green Brook. Raffle tickets were sold for $1 or 6 for $5 and all food items were available for a donation of one’s choice. ACME donated money toward various gift cards as well as two cookie trays with the other items donated by vendors, including Herr’s, Frito Lay, Canada Dry, Pepsi, Entenmann’s, Thurman’s, Stroehmann, and Martin’s. Additionally, both employees and customers baked cookies, breads and other treats.

"From the district manager and higher ups and employees in the store and those who helped outside to our customers, vendors, those businesses who donated, and all the members of the senior center. We thank you," said Schutzbach.

“The turnout was great. It was a really big success and we received a lot of positive comments from the community and our customers,” said store manager Steve Parenti. “We raised a lot of money for the program and hope to do similar fundraising events for the town in the future.”

Following the fundraiser, Schutzbach herself shopped for the items, which were delivered via a pickup truck to the senior center on Monday afternoon. “We tried to mix it up and get something for everyone’s preference,” she said.

The South Plainfield Senior Center is open Monday through Friday (excluding certain holidays) and, each morning, a light breakfast of coffee, milk, assorted juices, bagels, toast, muffins, cookies and other items is available to members. Additionally, food items are often taken along on trips, providing seniors with snacks to munch during the bus rides to and from casinos and other events.

While In-N-Out Bagel on Plainfield Avenue donates food every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the center relies on the bulk of its food donations from the Piscataway-based FISH Hospitality Program. Those donations, however, have been smaller than usual over the past few months while membership at the center has increased.

Looking for a way to help the struggling program South Plainfield seniors enjoy and, in many cases, rely on, Olano reached out to ACME. “I went in and spoke with Linda and she was more than happy to help us,” said Olano.

According to Olano, in addition to the fundraiser, ACME has also agreed to help the senior center on a weekly basis. Beginning this week, baked goods will be donated to the center every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Additionally, said Olano, the supermarket will also be donating items, including baked goods, to the center throughout the week.

“I feel we are in a good place right now at the center and I cannot thank ACME and everyone there enough for their kindness and support,” Olano said.

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