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Small Group of Middle School Students Collect Canned Goods & Basic Essentials for JFS

Kitchen cabinets were scoured. Businesses were visited. Friends and neighbors were asked to help fill the shelves of the JFS Food Pantry.

Brothers Luke and Sam Goldstein and their friend, Elaina, helped sort the more than 1,600 canned goods donated following their delivery to Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties. The merchandise was collected by a small group of eighth grade students at Belhaven Middle School as an initiative to stock JFS’ Food Pantry shelves. (Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties)

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What started out as a quest to collect 2,021 canned goods to donate to Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) by a small group of eighth grade students at Belhaven Middle School in Linwood, morphed into a program that exceeded their expectations.

“What a wonderful idea for these caring students to join together and create a community initiative that helps those in need,” said Andrea Steinberg, JFS Chief Executive Officer.

The students – Sam, Bella, Aixell, Brigid, Kasey, Annie, Christina and Leah (not pictured, Tyler) – scoured their kitchen cabinets, visited businesses and asked friends and neighbors to support their endeavor to help fill the shelves of the JFS Food Pantry.

All total, they collected more than 1,600 canned goods and raised $1,000 cash during the eight-week program.

(Left to right): Sam, Bella, Aixell, Brigid, Kasey, Annie, Christina and Leah (not pictured, Tyler) of Belhaven Middle School worked together to collect more than 1,600 canned goods and $1,000 cash to donate to Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties. The food and basic essentials will help stock the pantry shelves to assist community members in need. (Photo courtesy of Sam Goldstein)

JFS is now providing food for up to 100 community members per day.

The agency anticipates providing more than 120,000 pounds of food to those in need this year.

Currently, JFS is in the process of expanding its Food Pantry to offer specialty items as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins, meats and frozen merchandise.

While the official grand opening is set for mid-August, investment opportunities are currently available, starting at $500.

For more information on naming opportunities, contact Beth Joseph at 609.822.7409 or bjoseph@jfsatlantic.org.

For more information on JFS programs and services, visit jfsatlantic.org.

To pick-up goods or donate products to JFS’ Food Pantry, contact Vanessa Smith at 609.822.1108 x249 or vsmith@jfsatlantic.org or Mary DeMarco at 609.822.1108 x512 or mdemarco@jfsatlantic.org.

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities.

With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry.

The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life.

In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.

For more information or to keep up-to-date with events and programs, visit JFS at jfsatlantic.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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