Annual Washington Elementary “Human Chain” Food Drive Yields Record Collections


WEST ORANGE, NJ – The 10th annual Washington Elementary School “Human Chain” Food Drive delivered a record 1,512 cans and packages of non-perishable items to its next-door neighbor, the Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry last month. 

West Orange Police Officers Chris Jacksic and Herbert Granatos blocked off Franklin Avenue as the chain began to form from the door of Washington straight into the food pantry. Students in grades K-5 passed items hand-to-hand, chanting, “Pass soup,” as cans and packages were passed into sorting crates manned by fifth-grade students.

“The students get so excited about it,” said event organizer and teacher Linda Perna. “They start asking around the time of the Super Bowl when our ‘soup’-er bowl will be starting, and it’s obvious how excited they are today.”

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Student Council task team members also escorted Kindergarten students into the pantry to drop off their canned goods and packages.

“The West Orange community is so good to the food pantry,” said Food Pantry Administrator Cynthia Cumming. “And the fact that Washington is one of our Title I elementary schools makes their generosity so touching.” 

The food pantry is open the last two Tuesdays and Fridays of each month between 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and the fourth Monday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. West Orange residents in need of food can contact Cynthia Cumming at 201-341-9217 or email at

See all the photos from the Washington Elementary School “Human Chain” Food Drive here.

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