The owners of Pumpkin Fine Cars and Trucks in Egg Harbor Township are combining the spirit of community giving with Halloween by hosting their inaugural Pick a Free Pumpkin event this weekend.

Members of the community are invited to stop by the auto dealership on English Creek Avenue on Oct. 25 and 26 and receive a free pumpkin.

About 500 pumpkins will be available for the event.

And because the holiday season is rapidly approaching, the Pumpkin team will use the event to collect donations and canned goods for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

"In these hard times, it's nice to know that there are charities around to help those really in need," said owners Franck and Gina Freon, who added that 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the FoodBank.

The FoodBank will help distribute as much as $10 worth of food for every $1 donated through the free pumpkin giveaway at Pumpkin Cars, the owners said.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey distributes 40 million pounds of food a year to more than 1,000 non-profit programs. The most-needed items include canned fish and meat, milk, boxed meals, canned packaged meals, peanut butter and canned fruit and vegetables.

The Freons said although the auto industry, as with many businesses, has taken a hard hit in the downward economy, they believe it is important to give back to the community. Pumpkin Cars has been donating to the schools, sports teams and many other charities around the greater Atlantic City area for 15 years, they said.

"We are excited to make a difference, especially during the upcoming holiday season," said employee Adina Biswas, who is co-coordinating the free pumpkin event.

And everyone who donates a food item will also have the opportunity to put their name into a raffle to win a free car detailing, Biswas said.

The Freons' two children, Harrison and Isabella, are joining the effort to aid the food bank. They have pledged to match the first $200 in donations with their own savings.

Contact Lucia C. Drake:


If you go

What: "Pick a Free Pumpkin" Event

When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 25; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26

Where: Pumpkin Fine Cars & Trucks, 3084 English Creek Ave., Egg Harbor Township

For info: Pumpkins available while supplies last. Donations also collected for Community FoodBank

Call: 609-646-7676 or visit; for information on the Community FoodBank of New Jersey visit