FAIRFIELD, NJ — Once again, the Fairfield Police Department spearheaded the township’s participation in “Operation Christmas Child,” the world's largest Christmas project of its kind, and also helped to organize collections for the St. Thomas More Church food pantry, which aids families in need.

This was the department’s third year participating in Operation Christmas Child, which uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate love in a tangible way to children in need located around the world.

According to Chief Anthony Manna, this was the department’s most successful collection to date, with 240 shoeboxes filled with various items for children in need. Overall, the department has collected a total of 512 boxes—114 of them in 2017 and 158 in 2018.

Sign Up for West Essex Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“The credit for bringing this amazing charitable program to the Fairfield Police Department and the nexus behind its success rests solely with Sharon McNamara, my administrative assistant,” said Manna, who added that this may be the only gift that many of these children receive during this holiday season.

The student council at Churchill School also organized collection efforts among its students, who ultimately filled 57 boxes.

This year also marked the first year that the employees at Teva Pharmaceutical on Gloria Lane took part in the collection, filling 60 boxes.

“This initiative has done much to unite our community behind a worthwhile charity,” said Manna. “We thank all those who took the time to help us.”

For the last six of seven years, Sgt. John McNish has been the point man for the department’s efforts in the St. Thomas More Church food pantry collection

“[McNish] continues to do a phenomenal job, and because of his and all those who brought food to town hall, many people in need will now have food to eat,” said Manna. “It is good to see that the food pantry shelves continue to be well stocked.”

The police department reminds residents that donations can be made to the food pantry can be made throughout the year.