Holiday food distribution sees large turnout this year

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ROSELLE, NJ — Mayor Donald Shaw, local officials and volunteers were there for the community with a “Give Thanks by Giving” food distribution at Borough Hall’s Council Chambers on Monday, Nov. 22.

According to a press release, more than 600 turkeys, chicken, hams, vegetarian options and produce were given to hundreds of residents, aiding many families who may have needed a helping hand this holiday season.

“Each year, the borough hosts some sort of food distribution around the holidays. This year’s event was by far the largest holiday distribution we’ve ever had, and we were able to provide such a variety of items to hundreds of families,” Shaw said on Monday, Nov. 29. “This year’s distribution was a true community effort. Between the Mayor’s Office, the Borough Council, Department of Recreation, Department of Public Works and our community volunteers and donors, we ensured no resident went hungry this holiday.”

With so many hands involved in this event, the holiday food distribution saw a large turnout and a good deal of donated food helped many.

“The event was sponsored by myself, Mayor Donald Shaw, and the Borough Council, in collaboration with the Department of Recreation. The Department of Public Works was also instrumental in making this event successful,” Shaw said. “There was a great turnout at the distribution location, but we also delivered items to senior buildings and others that registered ahead of time.

“The food was purchased from Seabra’s Supermarket in Union and ShopRite in Elizabeth,” he continued. “Roselle business CES Towing donated nonperishable items, as well as Roselle staff, RPD, RFD and residents, New Destiny CDC and the Chestnut Street early-learning school also contributed to the distribution.”

According to the press release, Shaw suggested residents pledge to spend less on one another and give more to those who could really use a “hand up,” bringing families, friends and co-workers together with a shared purpose.

“We are always trying to ensure that the needs of our community are met, especially during the holiday season and throughout this lingering pandemic,” Shaw said on Monday, Nov. 29. “We believe a distribution of this type right before the holiday was much needed and well received among residents. I hope that our residents take the time this holiday season to spend time with their families, friends and loved ones. There has been much hardship through the pandemic, and it’s important to take the time to enjoy the small moments.”

Council President Denise Wilkerson, who was also involved in the food distribution, spoke of the volunteers who make events such as this one work.

“As council president, I work alongside the mayor and other council members to meet the needs of residents through our outreach efforts and community events, such as this holiday food distribution,” Wilkerson said on Monday, Nov. 29. “Of course, there were a lot of logistics to secure all the food items, set up the venue at Borough Hall and coordinate deliveries. One of the most important things that we try to do with events is to increase resident engagement through volunteerism. We are very pleased with the number of resident volunteers that wanted to serve their neighbors in need. They are the fabric of who we are as a community.

“This holiday season, check on your neighbors. Many people struggle emotionally during the holiday season,” Wilkerson said. “Checking on someone could be the ray of light they need this season to know someone cares about them. Of course, remember the things that matter — family, friends and quality time with one another.”

Photos Courtesy of Liv Meier