Champions for Charity was awarded the top honors Chairman’s Award during the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce’s 26th Annual Quality in Living Awards ceremony at the Lafayette House, on Thursday, March 31, 2011. The Chairman's Award is reserved for that individual or organization that has made an exemplary and/or extraordinary contribution to the County in at least the past twelve months. Founder of Champions for Charity Jeff Parrott, High Point Regional High School Assistant Principal Jonathan Tallamy, and Wallkill Valley Regional High School Student Council Advisor Lauren Donohue were present to accept the award and thank the Sussex County community for their continued support. Jeff Parrott stated, “Sussex County might not be the biggest county … but we have the biggest hearts.”
The Champions for Charity initiative began during the 2009-2010 school year. Jeff Parrott expanded the basic concept of a food drive into a synchronized system in which local school districts collect food on a permanent rotational monthly basis. Ten local high schools participated during the first year and raised a grand total of 95,520 pounds of food to benefit the Social Services food pantry. These donations enabled Social Services to keep its food pantry shelves stocked in addition to providing assistance to local food pantries around the county.
All ten high schools are participating once again this school year. Eight high schools have participated to date and raised a grand total of 44,451 pounds of food. Lenape Valley Regional High School and Vernon Township High School are the last two schools scheduled to participate. Pope John XXIII Regional High School will be making an extra push by collecting food during Holy Week. It is hopeful that the Social Services food pantry will continue to remain stocked to feed the hungry, while at the same time seizing a perfect opportunity to engage youths in making a commitment to work together as a community to attain the common goal of eliminating hunger.
Items frequently needed for the food pantry include cereal, peanut butter, jelly, meals in a can, hearty soup, tuna or other proteins in a can, macaroni and cheese, and baby food or formula. Personal items such as soap, toiletries and personal hygiene products are always needed. Also welcome are cash donations through which perishable food goods or vouchers are purchased as needed.
If anyone is in need of food for themselves, their family or their pets, they can stop by the Division of Social Services, 83 Spring Street, Suite 203, Newton, on Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The Division may be contacted by phone at (973) 383-3600. No appointments are necessary.