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Champions of Sussex County
Release Date: June 26, 2014

Champions of Sussex County

[Newton, NJ] Who would you turn to if you were hungry, had no other resources and nothing to eat? This is what many area high school students have begun to ask themselves after having the opportunity to collect food for the hungry. Local high school students and faculty have worked together as a community for the past five years to collect over 293,900 pounds of food through the Champions for Charity initiative to help replenish the shelves of the Social Services Food Pantry. The Sussex County Department of Human Services, Division of Social Services Food Pantry provides food to hundreds of families and individuals throughout the county who would go hungry without this assistance. It has been increasingly difficult to keep pantry shelves stocked during these economically difficult times.

County Clerk Jeff Parrott started the Champions for Charity initiative during the 2009-2010 school year, which was designed to meet diminished donations and the ever-rising need to feed the hungry. 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 a range of creative activities every year to raise donations, which include competitions between classes and departments, accepting donations of food in lieu of money for entry to sporting events and homework passes in exchange for donations.

a grand total of 45,425 pounds of food was raised by students and faculty

All ten area high schools participated for the fifth year in a row in the Champions for Charity fight against hunger food drive campaign. During the 2013-2014 school year, a grand total of 45,425 pounds of food was raised by students and faculty to restock the shelves with needed provisions at the Sussex County Food Pantry. Pope John XXIII Regional High School led the friendly competition during the 2013-14 school year by collecting 8,390 pounds of food. Pope John XXIII Regional High School received the Victor's Trophy and will have their name added to the "Champions" plaque under the 2013-2014 school year, which is proudly displayed in the Sussex County Administrative Center. Several elementary schools joined the effort this year. The Sussex-Wantage Elementary School was recognized with a trophy for leading the grade level effort this year by collecting 8,340 pounds of food.

The Sussex County Department of Human Services, Division of Social Services and County Clerk would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to every student, faculty member, and parent who contributed to the Champions for Charity initiative by donating food items and their time. Their on-going support demonstrates their commitment to our community.

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 welcomed are cash donations to purchase perishable food goods or vouchers when 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, 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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