ROSELLE PARK, NJ — For the fifth straight year, the Roselle Park Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Local 27 donated turkeys to the Casano Community Center, which welcomed the donations Tuesday, Nov. 14.
This year, the union added 12 turkeys to the community center’s annual efforts to assist families in need at Thanksgiving.
“There’s definitely families that need help and we want to make sure they have a good holiday just like everybody else,” officer Michael Smith, the PBA Local 27 president, said.
The Casano Community Center, located on Chestnut Street, has been stocking up on food donations, which are also trickling in from other local groups.
“The middle school brought in two big donations,” Christine Lettieri, an assistant to Casano Community Center Director Rupen Shah, said.
Anyone can drop off donations at the center, Lettieri said, and Shah has brought in an extra freezer to store the donated food, which families may pick up at the center. Shah also has reached out to ask the schools to learn which families may be struggling during this holiday season.
“Director Shah reached out to all the schools in town to get the names of all the children on the lunch program who may need extra food,” Lettieri said.
The Casano Community Center was dedicated in 1981 to the late Vincent J. Casano, a former councilman.
In addition to the food pantry, the center hosts Zumba and self defense classes, art exhibits and other events. Programs for senior citizens are also provided, and Scout meetings and teen dances also take place there. Lettieri added that she knew the police officers were coming since they donate frequently.
“They do it a couple times a year,” she said, adding, “They’re very generous.”
In May, the union teamed up with the Post Office National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 67 for the “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign. The letter carriers picked up food donations along their delivery routes and the officers collected food. Donations went to the center and to the Church of the Assumption Roman Catholic parish.
The Casano Community Center accepts food donations weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Donors may contact Shah at 908/245-0666.