As part of the Christie Administration’s “Season of Service”
Department-wide food drive helps those in need this holiday season
TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials delivered Department trucks loaded with food donated by NJDOT employees to four charities throughout the state. More than 5,525 items, such as canned goods and non-perishable food, were donated by NJDOT employees – an 87 percent increase over last year.
The effort was part of Governor Chris Christie’s fifth annual “Season of Service” initiative in which the Governor, First Lady Mary Pat Christie, and leaders of state departments take part in community service projects around the state.
In the second annual NJDOT food drive, the Department expanded its efforts to benefit a food bank in each of the Department’s three regions. North Region employees donated goods to Market Street Mission of Morristown, Central Region donated to Freehold Area Open Door, and South Region donated to the Food Bank of South Jersey located in Pennsauken. In addition, NJDOT headquarters staff collected goods for the Crisis Ministry of Mercer County, which was a beneficiary last year as well.
The Season of Service campaign was spearheaded by the Department’s operations and maintenance staff. It provided employees who work at any of the 62 maintenance facilities, as well as those employees at headquarters in Trenton, an opportunity to participate.
“Expanding the food drive this year to each region was a way for our staff to directly help the local communities and residents where they work. It is especially important this time of year, which can be difficult for those in need,” NJDOT Acting Commissioner Richard Hammer said. “I am proud that in our second year of organizing this food drive, NJDOT employees demonstrated the tremendous generosity we have come to expect by nearly doubling the amount we collected last year.”
About the Charities
The Crisis Ministry of Mercer County’s three Client Choice food pantries provide access to fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable foods that promote good health for low-income people across Mercer County. In a given week, the Crisis Ministry provides enough food for its visitors to prepare 12,500 meals for themselves and their families.
Market Street Mission of Morristown ministers to the homeless, helpless, and hopeless in Northern New Jersey by meeting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs through a structured program which enables them to lead responsible, productive lives. Earlier this month, Governor Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie recognized Market Street Mission Executive Director David Scott as the 8th New Jersey Hero of 2015.
Freehold Area Open Door, Inc. (Open Door) is a non-profit 501(c3) interfaith agency that provides emergency food, emergency funding, mentoring and scholarships to those in need from the Freehold area. It is administered by a 16 member volunteer Board of Trustees, two part-time salaried employees and over 150 volunteers. Open Door provides the following four programs: a Food Pantry Program, an Emergency Funding/Advocacy Program, an After School Program and a Scholarship Program.
The Food Bank of South Jersey and its network of 200+ food pantries and meal kitchens have been here since 1985 providing prepared meals and groceries to people in need. From humble beginnings in a small warehouse in Camden City to the present 65,000 square foot distribution center in Pennsauken, they are the last safety net for those in need.