Curbing Hunger Program Extended into July

Posted on June 29, 2018

Donate at the Curb or Online!

Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione has announced that the Curbing Hunger food drive is being extended into July in all 21 Somerset County municipalities.

Orange plastic bags were distributed to county households – look for one tied to the handle of your recycling container – but you can use any plastic grocery bag if you didn’t get an orange one. Place canned food donations in one or more bags at the curb on your regularly scheduled recycling collection days through July 27. This gives all residents an additional two opportunities to donate.

There is an easy online donation option too. Visit www.CurbingHunger2018.org to select and purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to donate; the produce will be delivered directly to the local food bank by Amp Your Good, which is hosting the online drive on its website. Follow the topic on social media at #GiveHealthy.

The Courier News and MyCentralJersey.com, longtime sponsors of the Curbing Hunger program, will continue to serve as a food-collection point at their second-floor 92 E. Main St. office in Somerville, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of July.

High on the list of needed items are Parmalat milk, canned meat and fish, “meals-in-a-can” such as pasta, stews and meaty soups, canned tomato sauce, canned fruits, and peanut butter and jelly in plastic jars. Perishables and food in glass containers cannot be accepted. For ideas about healthy foods to donate, go to http://bit.ly/DonateHealthy

Even though Somerset County is known for its affluence, food insecurity for children and adults is an enduring issue. Freeholder Director Scaglione is urging residents to help change that by supporting the 24th annual Curbing Hunger food drive.

“Going to bed hungry is the reality for almost a million New Jersey residents, including 15 percent of children and 14 percent of seniors,” he said. “In Somerset County, there are just over 10,000 people receiving SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps) – including about 5,200 adults and 4,900 children. So despite Somerset County’s reputation as one of the wealthiest counties in the Northeast, hunger in our communities is very real.”

Curbing Hunger started as a pilot program in Somerset County in 1995 and was expanded to several other counties in New Jersey. Since then, more than 2.5 million pounds of food have been collected statewide, valued at over $4 million. More than 2.1 million pounds have been collected in Somerset County alone.

The Curbing Hunger campaign is a joint effort of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the county Recycling Center, county and municipal public works departments, the Food Bank Network of Somerset County and Curbing Hunger Inc.

Supporters of the program are MyCentralJersey.com and the Courier News; St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of Basking Ridge is a founding sponsor. The Bound Brook school district conducted its fifth annual food drive to support the program in May and is planning a fall back-to-school collection as well.