Giving Back

Washington School Delivers Record Donation to Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry

Teachers and staff at Washington prepare items for distribution. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Officers Brad Squires and Dan Carroll handle security and block traffic on Franklin Avenue. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Rev. Dr. Peter Jackson and Rev. Miguel Hernandez, rear, with Washington students. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Students form a chain across Franklin Avenue. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Students pass cans from Washington School. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Grades K-2 drop off their "Special Deliveries". Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Board of Education Member Laura Lab helps support the effort. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Rev. Miguel Hernandez, Principal Marie DeMaio, Rev. Dr. Peter Jackson. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Mr. Oakley and students in Guild Hall with donations. Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - West Orange Washington Elementary School held its annual "Souper Bowl" drive for the Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry on Thursday and helped to fill the food pantry shelves.

A record 1,368 items, canned and packaged, were collected. The students formed a human chain stretching from the steps of Washington School and across the playground, crossing Franklin Avenue and heading into Guild Hall where the food pantry is located. Third, fourth, and fifth graders formed the chain while K-3 made "special appearances" with extra packages and cans.  

Police officers Dan Carroll and Brad Squires blocked traffic on Franklin Avenue and handled security while the entire school, which had collected items for over a month, excitedly chanted "pass the soup" as cans and packages were passed from Washington to the tables at the pantry.

Sign Up for E-News

Holy Trinity's newly-appointed Priest-in-Charge, Rev. Miguel Hernandez, whose daughther Mary attended Washington for kindergarten several years ago, posed for a photo with Principal Marie DeMaio and the church's new Archdeacon, Rev. Dr. Peter Jackson.

"This is great," said Rev. Hernandez.  "Just so wonderful." He thanked Principal DeMaio, the staff, and students for all they had done.

Board of Education member Laura Lab was on hand to help cheer the kids on and pass a few cans herself. Teacher Linda Perna, who has organized the event for the past several years, was happy with the outcome and pleased how the students understand the value of their efforts.  "This event is so huge, and so important," she said, "Kids were bringing in donations up until this morning."

Each class participated in the drive, and the top totals came from Mrs. Geller's fourth-grade class with 216 cans and Mr. Oakley's fifth-grade class with 343 cans.

The children returned to class proud of their contributions to those that were less fortunate, and the staff at the food pantry stayed behind to stock their shelves for this month. "We look forward to this every year," said longtime volunteer Freddie Diemer. Alice Hoffman, the food pantry founder who passed away in October, 2013, was always there with a smile on her face as the kids formed their chain and handed off the cans. "Alice would have loved this," she said. "She always did." 



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Evolve Cycle And Fitness Presale Happening Now!

May 18, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ - Evolve Cycle and Fitness is now offering 10 classes for only $90. That’s only $9 a class when you purchase before its official Grand Opening on Friday, June 1, 2018. 

Only two weeks left to take advantage of this limited time offer! Call Martha at 973-979-5919 or click here to sign up.

Evolve Cycle and Fitness is a Premier Fitness Boutique ...

Save Up To 20% at CNP Treasures

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Are you still looking for the perfect gift for your mom or that special someone in your life for Mother's Day? Then CNP Treasures has you covered! Save up to 20% at CNP Treasures located at 14 Northfield Ave in West Orange.

Come by this weekend so we can help you find the perfect gift! Offer expires Sunday, May ...

Montclair HS Student Reported Sexual Assault in All-Gender Bathroom, Officials Say

May 17, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - According to published reports on Wednesday, Montclair Police officials are investigating allegations of sexual assault reported to have occurred in a bathroom at Montclair High School.

Montclair police officials state that officers received a report about an incident at the high school of a sexual nature that occurred around 3:18 p.m. on Monday. The ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education


Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline


Tue, May 29, 6:30 PM

Council Chambers, West Orange

Township Council Meeting

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

'The Sting' with Harry Connick Jr. Slithers and Shakes at Paper Mill

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and Chicago.  Scott Joplin’s music is intertwined with the show, especially “The ...