WESTFIELD, NJ — Working with local faith leaders, the town’s police department is spearheading an annual food drive that would have otherwise been sidetracked by COVID-19.

Officers are offering contactless pickup for an annual food drive for the Westfield Food Pantry that would typically happen at the Westfield Post Office, police said.

“It’s kind of all hands on deck,” said Deirdre M. Gelinne, executive director of the Westfield United Fund, which is helping in the effort. “We need to keep food flowing to these people who cannot get out.”

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For three hours on Wednesday, May 20, the officers will be accepting donations in the parking lots of Roosevelt Intermediate School, 301 Clark St., and Westfield High School, 550 Dorian Road. Rain date: Thursday, May 21.

Due to COVID-19, donations will be accepted contact free.

“Drive up to the Westfield Police Department trailer, pop your trunk and an officer will retrieve your donation,” police said.

Police will be stationed at the schools from noon to 3 p.m. with School Resource Officer Ricardo Johnson at Westfield High School and SRO Tiffany Kenny at Roosevelt School, police said.

Most needed items include canned meals of stew, Chef Boyardee, SPAM, beans and vegetables, organizers said. Also encouraged are donations of spaghettis, sauce, boxed macaroni, cheese, rice, pasta, cereal, cleaning supplies and other paper products, police said.

In lieu of food, monetary donations for the food pantry will also be accepted through the Westfield United Fund fund’s website. Click on “Donate” and then enter the words “Food Pantry” in the “In Honor of” box. You can also mail a check to Westfield United Fund, 301 North Ave West, and be sure to indicate that it is for the Food Pantry.

For more information, email fooddrive@wpdnj.org.

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