The United Way of Gloucester County, the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders’ Human Services Advisory Council and the People for People Foundation held the 15 Annual Gloucester County Cares about Hunger food drive from Monday, February 24 to Sunday, March 1, 2020. The final collection was at the United Way of Gloucester County office in Thorofare on Monday, March 2.
“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s food drive,” said Michael Gower, Executive Director of the United Way of Gloucester County. “The food collected will help so many of our neighbors in need who face food insecurity on a daily basis. The United Way of Gloucester County is grateful for the opportunity to work with community partners and volunteers to make this food drive a success.”
This year, because of the generosity of 46 local businesses, organizations, and our CANStruction competition at the Deptford Mall, a record 23,016 pounds of food has been donated to the Food Bank of South Jersey. The poundage equates to 15,344 meals. Since the 2006 start of the drive, 221,532 pounds of food has been collected. This year local agencies in Gloucester County picked up donations on-site on March 2. “When we went back to our pantry and volunteers began to sort items we couldn’t believe that quality of food and the quantity,” said Cheri Slack of Woodbury Cooperative Ministries Food Pantry, “We really appreciate you trying something new for the local pantries.”
Also collected was roughly 260 pounds of pet food, which was collected by Gloucester County Animal Shelter and local pantries. It is sometimes forgotten that pets are an important part of many families, and the pet food collection helps families keep their pets instead of surrendering them to an animal shelter. Additionally, hygiene and personal care items were requested and donated this year such as home cleaning supplies, shampoo and hair conditioner and, color cosmetics.
The Gloucester County Cares about Hunger food drive is held annually from the end of February through early March to restock food pantry shelves. After the holiday season, food items are often depleted at local pantries. The addition of 22,581 pounds of food from the drive will help many local families in need. Gloucester County holds 8,180 food-insecure children in a total food-insecure population of 26,860 individuals.
Individually, people and organizations can help in a small way, but united together, we all can make a significant and lasting impact for the residents in our community. Thank you to all of those that participated, volunteered, picked up or dropped off food to make this event a success. A special thank you to GGB Bearings for raising and donating 4,500 lbs of food!