United Way of Greater Mercer County collected nearly 5,000 pounds of food, the equivalent of 4,025 meals, for their 6th annual Strike Out Hunger event. The food collected benefitted Mercer Street Friends Food Bank's network of over 40 food pantries.
Despite the need to pivot to a virtual event, the mission remained the same. Instead of their usual in-person meal packing event which gathers over 500 volunteers, United Way encouraged individuals to join its #bagchallenge and to donate non-perishable foods at various locations across the county throughout the month of June. Volunteers created reusable bags from home using t-shirts. The bags were then donated to food pantry partners as an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags and for cost savings. UWGMC would like to give a special thanks to Stark & Stark for providing 100 t-shirts that were transformed into bags. You can still participate in the #bagchallenge by visiting www.uwgmc.org.
UWGMC thanks all the individuals and companies that collected food including Bristol Myers Squibb Affinity Groups, Robert Half, NRG, PerformCare NJ, Joshua Zinder Architecture & Design, Princeton University, M&T Bank, AdCafé, Boy Scout Troop 46 Morrisville, Case Western Reserve Greek Life, Imbue Creative, Zonta Mercer, the Trenton Police Department, The Rotary Club of the Princeton Corridor, NJM Insurance Group, Klatzkin, Jewish Community Youth Foundation and many more!
UWGMC could not have pivoted to a virtual event without the commitment, passion, and input from the Strike Out Hunger Planning Committee and partner Mercer Street Friends Food Bank. The Planning Committee was represented by a cross-section of local companies and nonprofits: Arbonne, Grounds For Sculpture, Horizon NJ Health, Investors Bank, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, M&T Bank, Mercer Street Friends, NJM Insurance Group, Northfield Bank, PNC Bank, Present Company, Princeton University, Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, SL Business, Stark & Stark, The College of New Jersey and Wells Fargo.
This event would not have been possible if not for the support of event sponsors. Prior to COVID-19, there were nearly 55,000 struggling families in Mercer County – rising unemployment has made the need for food even greater. Sponsors for this year’s Strike Out Hunger included Horizon NJ Health, NRG, NJM Insurance Group, Wells Fargo, Aqua, Berkshire Bank, Investors Bank, Mass Mutual, M&T Bank, Mercadien, PNC Bank, Stark & Stark, St. Francis Medical Center and The Rotary Club of the Princeton Corridor. In addition to financial support, many event sponsors organized teams to help collect food!
Appreciation is also extended to The College of New Jersey, 94.5 WPST Radio, Starbucks (Mercer Mall and Trenton Community Store), and Investors Bank Mercer County branches for hosting food drop off stations at their respective locations.
The core of UWGMC is partnering for community progress including alleviating hunger one meal at a time. UWGMC will continue to support summer hunger programs and provide fresh produce to local food pantries.
This year’s virtual Strike Out Hunger event is part of the United Way’s Worldwide Day of Action, which helps businesses meet Corporate Social Responsibility goals, strengthen their corporate culture, and do good for the community in which they work.
For more pictures of the collection events go here.