WOOLWICH TWP. — One thousand bags of food were distributed to help families facing food insecurities for MLK Day on Jan. 18 during the food giveaway held at the Woolwich Township Municipal building parking lots.
This Food Giveaway, sponsored by H.E.L.P., Inc., was in lieu of the annual Swedesboro MLK Day of Homage activities.
“We were amazed with the outpouring of support from over 100 volunteers and donors. Our community really came together. People of various races and socio-economic levels worked together to help others, and everyone did it with a smile on their face. That’s the way to honor Dr. King,” said Rev. Sherry Lynn Hall, Director of Community Events, H.E.L.P., Inc.
“It’s nice to know that people are willing to help, especially with what’s going on right now,” stated Aisha VanMorter, who received food for her family. COVID-19 has caused many in our area to be in need, some who have never struggled before.
Nearly 400 children in the Kingsway Regional School District alone receive free and/or reduced lunch. When you add the surrounding area, then you see the numbers of those requiring assistance is quite large, so H.E.L.P. organized a massive effort to help address the need.
Partners in this worthy cause included Woolwich Township, Acme, Bethesda United Methodist, Trinity “Olde Swedes” Church, Spirit Dodge, Center Square Tavern, and generous individual donors. “We were able to fill each family’s trunk with bags of fresh meat, fresh produce, canned foods, and dry goods,” said Yusuf Fluellen, Deputy Exec. Director, HELP, Inc.
“The generosity of our community cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Michele Blair. “One 79-year-old man told me that he had never been hungry a day in his life, and just wanted to give back.” He opened his trunk, and it was full of cases of food. One couple, Greg and Barbara Wenning, went to ShopRite and bought 200 cans of soup. They said that they were incredibly happy to help.
Monetary donations were used to buy fresh chicken, beef, and cereal. One volunteer, Carl Pelzer, came out despite a family member passing away just two days earlier. “I enjoyed what time I was there,” he said.
Dr. King was a champion for public service. He stated, “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Pictures and more information about the event can be seen on H.E.L.P.’s website: www.helpinc.org and Facebook page MLK Day Celebration. To find out how you can get involved in future community events email firstname.lastname@example.org.