Riptides help

Eighth-grader Emily Lotys and classmates Kayla Pickel, Ashley Connor, Sarah Leonard and Shannon Curley, all of Stafford Township, raised more than $260 to help the needy over the holidays. They formed a group called Get Wrapped, and offered a gift-wrapping service during lunch periods.

The girls charged one dollar per gift, and the proceeds were donated to the Riptides Team Fund and were used to help fellow team members and families in need. All of the girls are on the Riptides Team.

Striper tourney donation

The 2nd Annual Jersey Shore Striper Tournament, hosted by Mike's Seafood Market and The Lobster Loft Restaurant in Sea Isle City last November, raised over $1,500 for autism charities, according to tournament organizer Jason Steelman.

Competing were 37 boats, each with up to six crew members, and 35 beach-based anglers. The tournament's winning striped bass was caught by the crew of The Susie II, captained by Joe O'Donnell, 26, of Sea Isle City, with Frank Berckman, 28, Scott Pearl, 25, and Kevin Hogan, 41. The four anglers reeled in a 49-pound/49 1/2-inch bass, and won a new 14-foot Key West Skiff fishing boat with a 25 horsepower Mercury motor on a Venture Trailer.

Food pantry needs help

The Holy Redeemer Food Pantry in Swainton, Middle Township, has been overwhelmed with requests for food this winter.

In November, the pantry served more than 400 families, about 100 more than in the month before, said Food Pantry Coordinator Marion Matticola, of Sea Isle City, a retired insurance coordinator. She is asking for the public's help by sending checks payable to "Holy Redeemer Food Pantry" to 1801 Route 9 North, Swainton, N.J., 08210. Non-perishable food donations can be dropped-off on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon. Call 609-463-6027.

Stone Soup Supper

The Southern Regional Middle School's Stone Soup Supper, organized by supervisor of curriculum Barbara McHale as an interdisciplinary effort, raised about $1,000 to benefit local food banks on Thursday.

About 200 people attended, paying $5 each for soup made by area restaurants and bread made by Family and Consumer Science classes, a district spokesperson said. They watched drama students act out the "Stone Soup" story, about how community members share food resources to help each other.

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members made fortune cookies with hunger information inside and ran a bake sale. National Junior Honor Society members set up and cleaned up, and teachers were servers.

Other students made placemats with hunger trivia on them, prepared nutrition information and gave hunger presentations. Entertainment was provided by music students and by Middle School Vice Principal Jan Kristbergs, Stafford Township Police Officer Chris Fritz and district computer and technical staff member John Plumley .