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Champions of Sussex County
Release Date: September 05, 2013

Champions of Sussex County

[Newton, NJ] All ten area high schools participated for the fourth year in a row in the Champions for Charity fight against hunger food drive campaign. During the 2012-2013 school year, a grand total of 52,332 pounds of food was raised by students and faculty to restock the shelves with needed provisions at the Sussex County Food Pantry.

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 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 also recognized on March 29, 2012, during the Chamber of Commerce's 27th Annual Quality in Living Awards ceremony 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. "Champions for Charity is a great example of students helping people right where they live! They have rallied behind an effort to help ensure that their fellow citizens, who find themselves dealing with difficult circumstances, are able to supplement their family's nutritional needs by receiving much needed food items. Jeff Parrott's commitment to this program cannot be overstated," said Stephen Gruchacz, Administrator for the Sussex County Department of Human Services.

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. 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 during the 2012-13 school year by collecting 7,510 pounds of food. Sparta High School has taken the lead three of the four years since this initiative first began. Congratulations to Sparta High School students and faculty on their victory. Sparta will receive the Victor's Trophy to proudly display in their high school. Their name will also be added to the "Champions" plaque under the 2012-2013 school year, which is proudly displayed in the Sussex County Administrative Center.

High School Collection Month/Year
Sussex County Technical School October 2012
Sparta High School December 2012
High Point Regional High School December 2012
Pope John XXIII Regional High School April 2013
Wallkill Valley Regional High School March 2013
Newton High School March 2013
Kittatinny Regional High School April 2013
Hopatcong High School May 2013
Lenape Valley Regional High School December 2012
Vernon Township High School May 2013

The Champions for Charity initiative has raised over 253,000 pounds of food since its inception in 2009. All ten high schools are scheduled to participate once again this year. Pope John XXIII Regional High School will kick-off the Champions for Charity 2013-2014 year in September.

The Sussex County 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, 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.

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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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