SPARTA, NJ – Two Sparta High School students have been collecting funds to purchase food donations for the Sparta Ecumenical Food Pantry.  Bhavika Dawar and Jamie Rubin had their first shopping trip on Friday morning at Stop and Shop, delivering the food by 9:30 a.m.

Dawar works at the grocery store, so she was able to make the donations stretch.  They spent a little more than $1,200 for their first shop.

“It blows my mind that we have only spent about one third of the donation money we collected and bought six carts full of food,” Rubin said. “It’s so exciting to see how far our fundraiser has come and how many people will be helped by this.”

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 The girls set up a GoFundMe page to collect funds.  Their idea was it would be better to collect the money and do the shopping rather than have individuals shopping and donating food.

“It seems so unreal to think, that I’m just one week we raised over $4,000,” Dawar said. “People need support and food more than ever right now and it’s critical that we help local food pantries.

As of Monday, the duo had raised $5,176 for their initiative. They plan to continue to shop each week, “until everything is okay.” Dawar said it has been helpful to be working on this initiative, giving them "a purpose, something important to do."

The food pantry is only open on Wednesdays and Fridays. 

“This whole experience really opened my eyes as to how the power of service can change the world,” Dawar said. “Both Jamie and I have learned a lot from this one project and from here we hope to branch out and take part in more service activities.”