NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Members of the Town & Country Swim League teams -- on the final day of their dual-meet season -- joined together for a food drive benefiting St. Teresa of Avila Church's Loaves & Fishes food pantry. The tradition of collecting groceries is organized by coaches from Clearwater Swim Club in New Providence.
Loaves & Fishes serves the less fortunate residents of Summit, New Providence, Chatham, Springfield and other towns by distributing between 50-60 bags of groceries each week. The ministry is run by volunteers and supplied largely by donations. Summer is a particularly difficult time for some families as their school-aged children do not get breakfast or lunch at school, so Loaves & Fishes works to fill in some of the gaps.
Any swimmer who donated an item of food or money to the collection was given a 'SWIM FOR FOOD' tattoo to wear during the meets to celebrate and promote their involvement in the event and the drive itself. Days later, many of these tattoos are still being worn proudly by swimmers and coaches alike.
In addition to collecting three carloads of non-perishable items and delivering them to the Loaves & Fishes pantry to include in the weekly grocery bags, the swim families were extremely generous when the coaches "passed the hat". The teams collected more than $560 in cash that can be used by Loaves & Fishes to purchase needed supplies for the summer distributions.
The Town & Country swim league is recognized as the oldest continuous summer swim league in the United States, having started its first season in 1955, and the member clubs are proud of their history and their ability to bring families together for fun in the sun -- and water -- while teaching kids to love swimming. Member teams of the Town & Country league include Berkeley Swim Club, Clearwater Swim Club, Noe Pond, Minisink Swim & Tennis Club, Crestview Swim Club and Fish & Game Club.