The Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services (MCFOODS) today received a donation of 1,500 Thanksgiving turkeys which were distributed to two dozen partner agencies throughout the County, helping feed families throughout Middlesex County this Thanksgiving. The turkeys were delivered to MCFOODS’ distribution center on Kennedy Boulevard in East Brunswick this morning by the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, who received the turkeys via Stop & Shop’s Turkey Express program.

“In a year when food insecurity has increased sharply throughout the State and the rate of food insecurity among children has nearly doubled in Middlesex County, we are incredibly grateful for this donation,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Because of Stop & Shop’s Turkey Express program, thousands of Middlesex County residents can celebrate one of our country’s most beloved traditions: a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. On behalf of the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, I thank Stop & Shop for their donation, Community FoodBank of New Jersey for their coordination in this effort, and former New York Giants players Joe Morris, David Tyree, and Jonathan Casillas for their assistance in off-loading these turkeys at the MCFOODS Distribution Center this morning.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sharp increase in food insecurity in Middlesex County and nationwide. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MCFOODS has organized food distribution events and food collection events, all contact-free and socially distanced, to combat the severe need in the County. To date, MCFOODS has received and distributed over 3.9 million pounds of food in 2020 as compared with 2.2 million pounds in all of 2019

“Stop & Shop is proud to make this donation and help so many Middlesex County residents in need,” said Stefanie Shuman, Community Relations Manager for Stop & Shop. “We’re thankful for partners like Community FoodBank of New Jersey and MCFOODS who share in and support our commitment to eradicate hunger in the communities we serve.”

This holiday season, Stop & Shop’s Turkey Express program will deliver more than 21,000 turkeys to hunger relief organizations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. This decades-old donation campaign is larger this year as a result of the increased need due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More of our New Jersey neighbors than ever before may not have access to holiday meals this year,” said Carlos Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. “I’m grateful to the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders for their partnership throughout the pandemic, Stop & Shop for their turkey donation and ongoing support, and former New York Giants Players Joe Morris, David Tyree, and Jonathan Casillas for their help at this morning’s distribution. Together, we are ensuring special Thanksgiving meals for those who need it most.”

On Saturday, the local Edison Democratic Organization donated turkeys in Edison and surrounding townships.

At various stops throughout the day, Edison Democratic Organization Chair Mahesh Bhagia was joined by Middlesex County Freeholder Charles Tomaro, former South River councilman Matt Vaughn, Highland Park Democratic Party Chair Bruce Morgan, Edison-Metuchen Area Branch NAACP President Reggie Johnson, and Briane Peters, Executive Program Director for the American Reentry Initiative.

“I am grateful to the many community partners that helped us with this event today,” said Chairman Bhagia who made stops at the Hands of Hope Food Pantry in Edison, the Union Baptist Church of South River, and the Trinity United Methodist Church in Highland Park. Turkeys were also delivered to the James O. Bryant Food Pantry in Piscataway.

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