The Essex County Sheriff’s Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Needy and Homeless of the community this week launched the final phase of its annual charitable initiative.
Sheriff Armando Fontoura and his officers loaded two vans and delivered hundreds of turkeys and holiday meals with all the trimmings throughout Essex County.
“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many of our neighbors are still hurting,” Fontoura noted. “The loss of electrical power for many days caused an awful lot of food to go bad. In some small way, our food drive will assist families and community soup kitchens.”
In addition to providing relief to needy families, the sheriff’s officers stocked the shelves of the food pantries at St. Rocco’s and St. Ann’s Church, The Salvation Army, New Hope Baptist Church, St. John’s Soup Kitchen, 14th Avenue School, the Independence Park Senior Citizens Monday Club, the Safe House for Battered Spouses and Children, La Casa de Don Pedro, the senior citizens complex at 1060 Broad Avenue, Casa Israel, First Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, Babyland Family Services, the Domestic Violence Center, Hawkins Street School and Iglesia Christianna Emanuel Church among others.
“Our annual program goes well beyond Thanksgiving Day,” added Fontoura. “The food our officers, deputies and civilian staff donate will also assist many of our local food pantries through the winter months.”
Over the years, Fontoura’s Thanksgiving Food Drive has provided meals for tens of thousands economically disadvantaged Essex County residents.
The Essex County Sheriff’s Thanksgiving Food Drive is one of many community initiatives of the law enforcement agency. Every year, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office also conducts an annual Holiday Gift, Food and Clothing Drive for Needy Families and their children. In addition to seasonal gifts and meals, the sheriff’s officers also donate much needed winter coats, boots, gloves, scarves and other winter clothing to needy families.