’Tis the season for giving and, as such, the Long Beach Township construction department continued its tradition of donating to the food pantry at the St. Francis Community Center in Brant Beach.
“This year, the department worked with their extensive network of contractors and real estate agents to raise $7,200 and four cart loads of food, which they delivered to the Center prior to Thanksgiving,” the municipality explained in a statement.
“The St. Francis Food Pantry (was) able to provide food for many in need with the generous donations from the construction and real estate community in and around Long Beach Island.”
At Monday’s Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners meeting, Mayor Joseph Mancini recognized the effort, noting that “this was a year that it was really needed” due to hardship caused by the pandemic.
Residents who wish to donate to the food pantry can drop off food and other necessities at the community center. The pantry has a refrigerator and freezer, and can accept items such as unopened bread and bags of rolls in addition to nonperishable canned, jarred and packaged foods.
Peanut butter and jelly, cereal, kids’ snacks, and proteins such as canned tuna and beef stew are always needed. Personal care products – soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, diapers, toilet paper – are also appreciated.
For monetary donations, make checks payable to St. Francis Human Concerns. Checks may be mailed to St. Francis Human Concerns, 4700 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach Twp., N.J. 08008, or dropped off at the front desk of the community center.
Currently, food pantry pickup is operating by appointment only. Hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. To schedule an appointment, call 609-494-8861, extension 121.
“Upon arrival for your appointment, you will be asked to park in a designated parking spot in the first row of parking spaces in front of the building,” the staff explains. “Please call when you arrive.”
The center organizes a Gift of Warmth project each year as well, with a goal of providing local children with bedding, clothing and footwear as winter approaches. This year, the program benefited from a large donation that was also coordinated by the township.
“After learning of the need for ‘gifts of warmth’ for our area children, Long Beach Township employees started a donation drive and raised $1,525,” said Gina Lotito, outreach coordinator for recreation, digital media and sustainability. “The money raised helped to provide gifts to eight local families.” —J.K.-H.