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Sussex County: Home of the "Champions"
Release Date: June 26, 2012

Sussex County: Home of the "Champions"

[Newton, NJ] All ten area high schools participated for the third year in a row in the Champions for Charity fight against hunger food drive campaign. The Sussex County Charter School and Hardyston Middle School joined the effort this year. A grand total of 50,524 pounds of food was raised by students and faculty, during the 2011-2012 school year, to feed Sussex County residents in need.

County Clerk Jeff Parrott started the Champions for Charity initiative during the 2009-2010 school year. The initiative was designed to meet the ever rising need to feed the hungry and compensate for the diminished amount of donations coming into the food pantry. This effort has raised over 200,000 pounds of food since its inception in 2009. Champions for Charity received the top honors Chairman's Award during the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce's 26th Annual Quality in Living Awards ceremony on March 31, 2011. The initiative was recognized once again in 2011 with a joint resolution from the Senate and Assembly on June 27, 2011 in the Senate Chambers. Champions for Charity was recognized this year during the Chambers of Commerce's 27th Annual Quality in Living Awards ceremony on March 29, 2012 in which the Sussex County Food Pantry and Ronetco ShopRite Partners in Caring received the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce Business Partnership Award.

Champions for Charity has evolved into an annual event, which not only continues to feed countless residents throughout the county, but it also educates, raises awareness, and touches the hearts and minds of youth and adults alike as many become aware of the suffering and need that exists right within their own community. Students and faculty host an array of creative activities every year to raise donations. Competitions between classes and departments, accepting donations of food in lieu of money for entry to sporting events, homework passes in exchange for donations; no matter what the event, students and faculty have a great deal of fun while actively making their contribution to an extremely worthwhile cause. It is anticipated that each year as seniors graduate they will go out into the world with an awareness of the issues that surround them every day and that they will be empowered to create a solution to these issues, which will make a difference in their life and the lives around them.

Sparta High School led the friendly competition for two years in a row by collecting the most food. This year Wallkill Valley Regional High School has taken the lead by collecting 8,650 pounds of food. Congratulations to Wallkill Valley students and faculty on their victory. The victor's trophy will pass from Sparta to Wallkill, and Wallkill's name will now be forever etched under the 2011-2012 school year on the "Champions" plaque, which is proudly displayed in the Sussex County Administrative Center.

High School Collection Month/Year
Sussex County Technical School November 2011
Sparta High School November 2011
High Point Regional High School December 2011
Pope John XXIII Regional High School March 2012
Wallkill Valley Regional High School March 2012
Newton High School March 2012
Kittatinny Regional High School April 2012
Hopatcong High School May 2012
Lenape Valley Regional High School May 2012
Vernon Township High School June 2012

The County of Sussex, Department of Human Services, Division of Social Services and County Clerk would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every student, faculty member, and parent for their hard work and dedication to our community through the Champions for Charity initiative.

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, NJ, 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.

A program of the Department of Human Services, Stephen R. Gruchacz, Administrator, Division of Social Services, Carol Novrit, Division Director, PO Box 218/83 Spring Street, Newton, N.J. 07860 Office Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (No Appointment Necessary) Phone 973-383-3600 Fax 973-383-3627 Toll Free Messages 800-446-6963

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