Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pequannock Community Gives from the Heart, to the Stomach

60,000 Meals, to be packed.
60,000 is a difficult number to visualize, it also happens to be the number of meals packed by Pequannock citizens at PV School this Sunday for the hungry in Haiti and the United States (a 50/50 split in fact).

For comparison, there are about 15,540 people in 6,471 homes in Pequannock.  That means, at a rate of 3 meals per person per day, Pequannock donated enough food for the entire township for around a day and a half.  Now imagine the entire township standing in a line waiting for those meals, 3 times a day, and you begin to get an idea of the magnitude of the numbers that are being discussed.  The food was also paid for by donations made by Pequannock residents.

This is what it looks like when a community gets serious
about hunger.
Consider too the impact of this event.  Somehow, hundreds of people took time out of their busy weeks to pack meals for complete strangers... and managed to reach this number in less than 4 hours!  Many of those people will tell their friends about the experience, bring new friends next year, attend other packing events, post their photos to Facebook, and like myself, cook one of these pre-packaged meals for 6 of their friends to raise awareness about the issue of hunger.

Despite the structure of 2 shifts, many volunteers opted to stay the entire time through.  In attendance were Rotarians, Council Members past, present (and probably future looking at all these dedicated kids!), Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, volunteers from the First Reformed Church as well as numerous other churches, high schoolers to pre-schoolers, the Mayor, members of Unico, members of the Knights of Columbus, and many others.  Even Miss New Jersey made an appearance.

This was one of the biggest charity outpourings since residents responded when Hurricane Irene flooded much of the township and it was an amazing experience.  I hope the reader will forgive my brief digression from journalistic objectivity, but this event was absolutely moving in the shear magnitude of its community involvement.


Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock EnvironmentalHistoric District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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