Hillsborough Township municipal officials aimed to make an impact in the community last month.
During the week of July 8, Foodstock, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization, challenged local municipalities to collect food and other household necessities to restock local food pantries.
Foodstock officials said their goal is a grassroots community effort formed to assist with the needs of those less fortunate in communities who are struggling to put food onto tables due to the current economic environment. The organization’s effort began in 2010 in central New Jersey, and has since collected more than 220,000 pounds of food and $54,000 for area food pantries
Hillsborough Township employees teamed up with its departments for a friendly building-wide competition sponsored by the nonprofit group to see who could collect the most donations. After five days and many trips to the grocery store, Hillsborough municipal employees collected a total 1,010 pounds of household items.
From canned goods to laundry detergent, shampoo, toilet paper and more, township employees collected items that would benefit others the most and were in the highest demand at the Community Assistance Network. Each department said that this competition was an exciting way to get together and support a great cause.
The friendly competition ended with the first-place department donating of total 402 pounds, averaging out to almost 45 pounds per person. The second-place department donated a total 159 pounds and the third-place department a total 111 pounds.
As a whole, the Foodstock Week Challenge was deemed a “huge success” by officials with collections from all participating townships totaling 25,671.95 pounds, surpassing the original goal of 10,000 pounds.
Township officials said that Foodstock and the municipality are excited to partner again next year where the goal may be as high as 50,000 pounds.
Following this year’s efforts, Hillsborough Township Administrator Anthony Ferrera complimented his group’s teamwork for the food drive.
“We have a great group of employees at the township and the Foodstock challenge was a fun way to join together for such a worthy cause,” Ferrera said.
Alongside the food drive event, the nonprofit group hosts additional outreach efforts such as golf outings or a “Snowball” event, which is an adults-only cocktail party where the net proceeds are donated to food pantries so they can replenish its shelves during the winter, a notoriously slow time of year for food donations.
To learn more about Foodstock or to get involved, visit the organization’s page at www.foodstocknj.org.