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Community Food Bank counting on ACUA food drive

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Beginning Monday, Dec. 3, and continuing through Friday, Dec. 14, Atlantic County residents can place nonperishable food items at the curb on their recycling collection day as part of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority's 28th annual Holiday Food Drive.

ACUA recycling crews will collect the food in conjunction with regularly scheduled recycling pickups.

The Holiday Food Drive gives residents an easy and convenient way to help the needy while helping the environment. All food collected through the Holiday Food Drive will be distributed through the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, which provides the donated food to more than 300 partner charities for distribution to those less fortunate throughout Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties. These charities include emergency food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable programs.

“The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, is grateful to partner once again with ACUA on this incredibly successful food drive," said Renate Taylor, development officer for the Southern Branch. “The items generously donated by our community and collected by ACUA recycling crews prove a vital partnership in our efforts to feed hungry families at this difficult time of year. It’s heartwarming to see that so many Atlantic County residents donate top quality food so their neighbors may eat. CFBNJ is truly grateful for the support of the ACUA family and our community, as we could not continue our mission of feeding hungry families without you.”

The Community FoodBank is looking for donations of food items, especially canned soups, meals in a can, peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna and other meats, and cereal. Please do not include perishable or frozen items, or food in glass jars.

“The need for food donations is so great. Many of our friends and neighbors are struggling. Within the Community Food Bank’s southern branch service area in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties, there are over 200,000 people who rely on the Food Bank,” said ACUA President Rick Dovey. “ACUA’s food drive provides an easy way for people to donate when they put their recycling out. There are so many people in need, we are intent on getting as many residents as possible to donate to this year’s effort,” Dovey added.

Last year, residents donated 21,245 pounds of nonperishable food items.

“Our goal is to exceed last year’s total and we are always encouraged by the generosity of Atlantic County residents,” said Dovey.

To participate, just fill any bag or box with your donation and leave at the curb on your recycling day between Dec. 3 and Dec. 14.

Atlantic County residents not served by the ACUA curbside recycling program can participate by bringing their donations to the ACUA at 6700 Delilah Road or to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, at 6735 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township.

To learn more about how you can help, contact the Community Food Bank of NJ, Southern Branch, at 609-383-8843 or see cfbnj.org/southernbranch. For more information, call 609-272-6950 or see acua.com/fooddrive.

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