January 16, 2022
As the region gears up for the MLK Day of Service on Jan. 17, there are plenty of ways to get involved. From volunteering in person at any of the cleanups and service project events in Philadelphia and South Jersey, those who are looking to head out on Monday have no shortage of ways to take part.
For those looking for a way to take part after Jan. 17, the Burlington County Board of Commissioners is collecting canned, non-perishable foods as part of its food drive in honor of MLK. Donations will be excepted through Jan. 31.
Only canned food will be accepted. Other non-perishable, boxed food can still be donated at several other donation sites across the county, including the Beacon of Hope food pantry in Mount Holly, located at 41 Mill St.
"Food insecurity and hunger is a hidden crisis with far too many families suffering in silence while lacking adequate and nutritious food," said Dan O'Connell, Burlington County commissioner. "In fact, the Food Bank of South Jersey estimates that more than 52,000 of our county residents are food insecure, including nearly 18,000 children."
The food will be donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and will be distributed through their food pantry at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, and to the Rowan College at Burlington County food pantry.
The Food Bank of South Jersey will assist, helping residents experiencing food insecurity apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Burlington County was recently spotlighted as one of 50 food desert communities in New Jersey, though Camden topped the list.
"Dr. King famously said 'everybody can be great because everybody can serve,'" said Commissioner Felicia Hopson. "This month on his birthday we pay tribute to him and his teachings with simple acts of service that remind us that we must all step up to make our county, state, and nation the 'beloved community' that Dr. King frequently spoke about."
Burlington County's Board of Commissioners has been partnering with the Food Bank of South Jersey since the beginning of 2020 in an effort to help combat food insecurity and the impact that a lack of food accessibility can have on the community.
Since the beginning of the partnership, the Board of Commissioners has distributed food to more than 12,000 families in Burlington County.
"Our County has not and will not remain idle while there are those among us who are forced to skip meals or go to bed hungry," said O'Connell. "This food drive is an easy way for all of us to come together and help our neighbors. Contributing a few cans from your family's pantry can make a world of difference for those who are struggling."
Along with the MLK-inspired drive, Burlington County officials recently announced that its monthly food distribution event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., where residents can pick up free boxes of groceries and other food items through the Food Bank of South Jersey partnership.