SPARTA, NJ- The Sparta Ecumenical Food Pantry got a large donation this week.  The Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto, Detective Lieutenant Terrence Mulligan, Mohawk House owner Steve Scro and executive chef Joe Sanfilippo brought a truck load of food to the First Presbyterian Church.

“It was very rewarding and amazing to see how organized and well thought out everything was once we walked inside,” Scro said.

Sparta Food Pantry Director Valerie Machio said, "We would like to thank the Mohawk House and US Food for their support.  It is amazing to have been the recipient of the outpouring of donations these last few weeks."

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Mohawk House distributor US FOODS partnered with Scro to donate muffins, breakfast pastries, waffles, bagels, egg sandwiches, cereals, almond milk turkey burgers, a variety of bread and buns, lunch meats and cheeses, cases of mayonnaise and ketchup.  They also donated mini snacks; pop tarts, fruit roll ups, crackers.

"Steve and his team at the Mohawk House has been consistently helping out those in need since this pandemic has begun," Spidaletto said.  "As I said before Sparta and Sussex County is fortunate to have him and his team with us to help us through these difficult times."

Scro said US Foods was moved to make the donation after reading about previous partnerships between the Mohawk House and others to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s important for us all to stay as positive as possible,” Scro said.  “Keeping your mind and body busy, having a purpose and coming out a better person is what I strive for.”

With people prohibited from dining in, Scro has reinvented his restaurant beyond a special takeout menu of “approachable comfort food.” In the restaurant's parking lot he has a mobile butcher shop of Pat LaFrieda meats and Sysco truck for produce and some grocery items. 

"The need within our community has been steadily growing each week so every donation is needed and very much appreciated," Machio said.

“Even through these troubling challenging times it’s important that we all embrace each other and work together,” Scro said.  “There’s no feeling in the world like helping other people.”

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