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MPE Stuffs the Bus for the Hungry

With the shelves empty at the community food pantry, seeing the yellow school bus pull up loaded with boxes of food, canned goods, fresh vegetables and fruit, was reason alone to cheer. But for the hungry in Livingston, seeing the shelves restocked by students and community residents, it was clear that being stuffed never felt so good.

Livingston schools were partners in a town-wide effort to Stuff the Bus on Thursday, October 17. Students replenished shelves at Livingston C.H.O.W. (Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse), which serves local families in need.
The need for donations has never been greater. Poverty continues to rise in New Jersey and in 2011 was 10.4 percent statewide. Essex County has the highest rate in the state at 17.6 percent.
"We filled boxes upon boxes and bags upon bags with food and our Student Council members had a great time loading them onto the school bus when it arrived here in the morning," said Principal Natalie Kosonocky.
Volunteers from the township’s Food Day Committee organized this event, with students participating as part of the service activities schools are engaged in.

Sister Barbara of St. Philomena’s Church described the collection as “high quality”.

“I am simply amazed and just incredibly appreciative when I see all the recent donations that have come to the pantry through Stuff the Bus.  Being the third stuff the bus event for CHOW, I thought that the excitement would be less this time around, however, it seems the exact opposite has happened as I believe this is the best one yet.  And what is even more amazing is that the quality of items donated is right in line with what is most needed for families.  Thank you Livingston!” 

Photos by Jodi Rothfeld