MORRIS COUNTY — New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy will be joining Table of Hope, local officials and scores of volunteers who are gathering together for a free mobile food distribution event at County College of Morris (CCM) on Tuesday, June 23, to assist residents during this time of crisis.
The food distribution, consisting of canned goods, meat, dairy, vegetables, and other groceries, will take place in Parking Lot 1 on the CCM campus starting at 10:00 a.m. and running until 12:00 Noon. Welcoming remarks from the First Lady and others will take place at 9:45 a.m. All are welcome to attend. Visitors are asked to use the college’s Dover Chester Road entrance. Face coverings are required for everyone who visits the campus.
The distribution will operate as a contactless drive-through event with cars stopping at different food stations categorized by food type where volunteers will place bags or boxes into automobile trunks.
Shortly after COVID-19 struck, Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, pastor of Bethel Church in Morristown, converted the Table of Hope bus that was used to pick up food so it could be utilized for mobile food distribution. Williams is the founder of the Spring Street Community Development Corporation that operates Table of Hope and other programs to improve the lives of individuals and families in Morris County.
“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the region, state, and nation and resulted in massive unemployment and also additional challenges for those who already were struggling,” notes CCM President Anthony J. Iacono. “As the community’s college, we are honored to partner with Table of Hope and others to assist Morris County residents. I am so proud to be part of this county where people pull together to help one another.”
Assisting with the event are Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, a CCM graduate, the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Alstede Farms, and approximately 40 volunteers, including numerous CCM employees. The Morris County Council of Education Associations also contributed $5,000 to purchase food for the event.
“This is a powerful testament of the heart of the Morris County community,” says Williams.
“The great work being done by Table of Hope and other food pantries in Morris County has been exemplary,” says Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, liaison to the county’s Human Services agencies. “Without their dedication during this public health crisis, many people in our county, who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, would be hard-pressed to feed their families. We thank Table of Hope and strongly support these organizations.”
“Table of Hope, the Interfaith Food Pantry, the Community Food Bank, Alstede Farms and other charitable organizations have stepped up at a time when the lives of many families were upended by the COVID 19 healthcare crisis,” said Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon. “Their work reflects the finest qualities in people who care about their neighbors and the well-being of others during grim times. Table of Hope Mobile Food Pantry and CCM, for hosting this event, have all my gratitude and admiration.”
In March, Table of Hope began operating weekly mobile food distribution programs in Morristown, Parsippany, and Dover, along with additional grocery supply events in other Morris County communities. Prior to COVID-19, its pantry in Morristown served about 65 people weekly. The number now being served each week at each mobile distribution event averages 500 to 600, reports Teresa Williams, executive director of the Spring Street Community Development Center. To date, more than 9,000 individuals and families have been helped and more than 220 tons of food has been distributed. Table of Hope also operates a soup kitchen that during the pandemic has continued to provide dinners as take-out service.
Table of Hope receives food from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside, local farms, and foodservice companies. To volunteer or make a donation, visit the Spring Street CDC website by clicking here.
Along with Table of Hope, numerous other services are available to assist residents in Morris County’s 39 municipalities who are in need of food during these difficult times. A list of available food services, including food pantries, volunteer shopper organizations, meal delivery services, and take-out meal services, can be found by clicking here.