Margot Kapusinski of Cedar Grove and a Junior at Immaculate Heart Academy recently received the President's Volunteer Service Award.  Margot received a Silver Award for completing over 200 hours of service during her Junior year.  Her Service Project's focus was preventing food insecurity in New Jersey, through neighborhood food drives which benefited the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.  Margot began her food drives in 2014, by Trick or Treating for nonperishable food items in her Cedar Grove neighborhood.  Her food drives, which became an annual Halloween tradition, came to be known as "Margot's Meals". 
During the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020-2021, Margot relied on partnerships with many private businesses and faith-based organizations to continue her work to help the hungry. She was fortunate to get acquainted with Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz of Chabad of West Orange.  Rabbi Mendy continuously spread the word of Margot's food drives throughout West Orange, which resulted in regular, generous contributions of nonperishables to help the needy throughout the pandemic. 
With concerns that a Trick or Treat food drive would not be well received last year, Margot instead ran a Valentine's Day food drive and collected nonperishables door to door in Cedar Grove.
 
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Margot is thankful to those who continue to support her food drives during these very challenging times.  Many thanks to the Cedar Grove and West Orange communities, Rabbi Mendy Kasowitz-Chabad of West Orange, Patricia Doerner-Palisades Child Care Center and Diana Levy-Community Food Bank of New Jersey who have made it possible to collect thousands of nonperishable food items for the CFBNJ.    
 

A Note About the Award:
The President’s Volunteer Service Award was founded in 2003 by the United States President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity. This award honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to take action too.
Photo credits: Immaculate Heart Academy