A weekly update of stories previously reported

Eight months ago: New FoodBank facility opens to address constantly growing need

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s Southern Branch opened its new, 29,000-square-foot facility in August to better serve the local community.

Margie Barham, executive director of the Egg Harbor Township facility, said the need continues to grow.

Barham said the center has distributed more than 7 million pounds of food consistently since 2010, and so far this year the total is up 9 percent over this point last year.

The organization now serves 283 agencies — an increase of 23 over last year, she said.

The FoodBank is also expanding its services, Barham said, providing more fresh produce to residents and food to at-risk patients after they are discharged from South Jersey Healthcare hospitals in Cumberland County, she said.

The organization received 3,590,626 pounds of food through donations in 2012 — an increase of nearly 44 percent over 2011, Barham said.

Since Hurricane Sandy, it has received more donations of food, but 16 percent of the population of Atlantic County is still food-insecure, meaning they do not have enough to eat, Barham said. The same can be said of 15 percent of Cape May County and 18 percent of Cumberland County.

“The numbers are staggering,” she said.

Two months ago: Absecon police search for gunman

On Feb. 14, a report of a gunman caused a massive search inside a hotel on the White Horse Pike, but two months later, no arrests have been made.

A maintenance worker at the Comfort Inn called police that morning stating a man had pulled a gun on him in the eighth-floor boiler room.

About 100 officers arrived from Absecon, Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Galloway Township, the State Police and the Atlantic County Emergency Response Team and conducted a five-hour search, but no suspect was ever found.

Absecon police Chief David Risley said there is no further information to report on the incident.

“The suspect was never located, and video surveillance did not help us,” he said. “The suspect must have exited the motel prior to our arrival and fled the area.”

Four years ago: Hamilton Township receives money for new recreation field

Hamilton Township does not have enough recreation fields for its youth leagues, and in some cases when seasons overlap there is not enough space for everyone to play and practice.

The township sought a resolution to the problem in 2009 when it received a $400,000 grant from Atlantic County to build a new football field at Liepe Farm Fields on Leipzig Avenue, but the project was pulled due to concerns about drainage.

The township instead spent the money on other projects, such as a hockey court, bleachers, lights and a playground. But the township is moving forward on a project to add a new field for several different sports with stands and a scoreboard at the Liepe park.

Administrator Mike Jacobs said the township plans to put lights up at the park, and the state Pinelands Commission told the township to move forward with work on the grass.

The project could take more than a year for all of the grass to be planted before sports teams could participate on the field, he said. The township will pay for the project through reserves in its budget.

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