Feed­ing the hun­gry

Lo­cal group packs 300 food boxes

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By JOSH SHAN­NON jshan­non@ches­pub.com

More than 300 fam­i­lies will have a brighter Christ­mas sea­son, thanks to dozens of vol­un­teers from the Ne­wark Area Wel­fare Com­mit­tee who spent three days pack­ing and dis­tribut­ing boxes full of food for the hol­i­days.

“We’re help­ing the work­ing poor, we’re help­ing the el­derly and we’re help­ing fam­i­lies,” Bev­erly Stoudt said last Fri­day as she over­saw an assem­bly line pack­ing ef­fort at the First Pres­by­te­rian Church of Ne­wark.

With 315 boxes lined up in the church’s mul­tipur­pose room, vol­un­teers moved down the lines, drop­ping in canned goods, boxes of pasta, ce­real, pan­cake mix and other food. Mean­while, other vol­un­teers sorted and packed bags of fresh pro­duce.

On Satur­day, fam­i­lies lined up at the church to pick up their box and a turkey.

Stoudt said she en­joys watch­ing the fam­i­lies re­ceive their food.

“When they leave, you can see the ten­sion flow out of their bod­ies,” she said. “We’re help­ing them pro­vide Christ­mas for their fam­i­lies.”

Ap­prox­i­mately 40 vol­un­teers helped pick up and pack the food, which was col­lected by more than 20 schools, churches and com­mu­nity groups. NAWC also re­ceived mone­tary do­na­tions, in­clud­ing $8,240 from the Ne­wark Morn­ing Ro­tary Club, which raised the money with a “ball drop” fundraiser at the Ne­wark Coun­try Club.

“Ne­wark Morn­ing Ro­tar­i­ans are proud to help our neigh­bor who does so much for our com­mu­nity,” Ro­tary Club Pres­i­dent Joshua Martin said. “We never know when dis­as­trous cir­cum­stances will hit any one of us.”

Among those help­ing pack food was Bucky Marino, who re­cently moved to Ne­wark from New Brunswick, Canada.

“It’s a good use of time,” Marino said as he placed packs of ra­men noo­dles in each box. “It’s a good way to help peo­ple.”

He said he was look­ing for a way to get in­volved in the com­mu­nity and found out about the NAWC project through his church, Ne­wark United Methodist.

“I’ve got the time and en­ergy to do it,” Marino said. “I’m get­ting to the age where I can’t just goof off. I’ve got to do some­thing good.”

El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor, in her fourth year vol­un­teer­ing, echoed those sen­ti­ments.

“I like giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity,” Tay­lor said. “I can’t af­ford to give money, but I can give my time and ser­vice.”

Tammy Sharp noted that mem­bers of NAWC of­ten split up and work on dif­fer­ent projects, but pre­par­ing the food bas­kets takes an all-hands-on-deck ef­fort.

“For this, ev­ery­body comes to­gether,” Sharp said. “It’s amaz­ing see­ing all these boxes and know­ing peo­ple are be­ing helped.”


Bucky Marino and Tammy Sharp help pack food boxes last week as part of the Ne­wark Area Wel­fare Com­mit­tee’s an­nual food drive.

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