WEST ORANGE, NJ - On May 16, beginning at 9:00 a.m., bright orange flyers will be taped to front doors and bags full of food donations will be placed on the steps of homes in the St. Cloud neighborhood of West Orange for The St. Cloud Cares Food Drive. The food will be collected, sorted and then delivered to the Holy Trinity-West Orange Pantry, located at 315 Main Street, to help stock the shelves as the pantry heads into the lean summer months.
“A team from our church works at the Food Pantry one evening and four mornings each month to give out food to the clientele who come for food,” said Karen Boettinger, a member of United Presbyterian Church of West Orange. “It’s really hard to see the shelves get empty sometimes, especially at the end of summer.”
People who want to donate food are asked to tape the orange flyer to their front doors so that the volunteer drivers can easily see them. They can also sign up on line HERE. For more information about the St. Cloud Cares Food Drive, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call United Presbyterian at 973-731-1868.
The bags will be picked up and brought back to the collection site at United Presbyterian, located at 20 Old Indian Road. Before delivering the collected food to the Food Pantry, other volunteers will sort the food into various categories to make it easier to store at the Food Pantry. People can also drop off food at the collection site during the preceding week, Monday – Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or on May 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Food Drive organization includes members of the St. Cloud PTA, Holy Innocents Church and St. Joseph's Church, also in the St. Cloud neighborhood. With the support of the St. Cloud PTA, flyers recently went home with every child attending St. Cloud Elementary School, drawing in more volunteers. And, since May 3, volunteers have been distributing orange flyers to every home in the St. Cloud neighborhood.
The St. Cloud Cares Food Drive has been modeled on the successful Gregory Cares Food Drive that has been delivering food to the Food Pantry for the last four years in December.
“We’re so glad we didn’t have to re-invent the wheel in order to put this together,” said Rev. Rebecca Migliore, pastor of United Presbyterian, "and Gregory Cares organizers helped us tremendously in laying down the groundwork.”
"When we work at the Food Pantry every month," noted Sandy Crouse, an active member of United Presbyterian, "we meet the people who need help – veterans using canes, grandmothers raising their grandchildren, women who work but only part-time, construction workers who can’t find work, and the elderly. And sometimes we meet the children who need help—and that's especially hard."