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EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - For 28 years, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority has teamed up with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey – Southern Branch for an annual holiday food drive aimed at helping provide food for those facing food insecurity across Atlantic County.

This year, the annual holiday food drive brought in 18,625 pounds of non-perishable goods for the food bank.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the local community and the work of our partner, ACUA,” said Renate Taylor, development officer of the food bank in a recent press release. “Your donations are not only heartwarming, but truly make an impact on our efforts to feed the many hungry families in our area. Thank you.”

The annual food drive runs throughout Atlantic County for the first two weeks of December. For residents, the process of donating items could not be simpler. To donate, residents had to only leave canned, non-perishable food items in any kind of bag next to their recycling containers during pick-up days.

“Thank you to the many residents that contributed to this year’s food drive,” said ACUA President Rick Dovey in the recent press release. “We’re happy to support this cause and provide the opportunity for our community to help those in need. The donations will make a difference in the lives of struggling families this holiday season.”

According to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey website, more than 900,000 people face food insecurity in New Jersey on a daily basis — of which nearly 300,000 are children. Often, those facing food insecurity are forced to choose between buying food or paying vital bills such as housing or medicine. Unfortunately, those facing food insecurity also are forced to buy unhealthy meal options because they tend to cost less.

With food insecurity affecting 1 in 8 people throughout the country, chances are most people know someone who is experiencing it.

While the statistics of food insecurity are shocking and bleak, there are countless individuals working to end hunger across the country.

Even though the ACUA holiday food drive is over, there are still plenty of ways to help provide food for those in need in New Jersey, such as volunteering at a food bank or making a monetary donation. In fact, according to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, just $1 can help provide three meals.

For more information on the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, please visit its website at www.acua.com. For more information on the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, please visit its website at http://www.cfbnj.org.

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