Turkeys, Fresh Produce, Can Goods, Dairy and More for a Holiday Feast

Girl placing a backpack in the truck of a car

A young volunteer places a backpack filled with school supplies at the Table of Hope food distribution event held at County College of Morris in August.

Table of Hope, with the support of local officials, businesses, agencies and volunteers, will be holding a Thanksgiving food distribution, including turkeys, fresh produce, can goods and dairy for a holiday meal, at County College of Morris (CCM) on Saturday, November 21.

The food distribution, open to Morris County residents, takes place from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Parking Lot 1 on the CCM campus. Visitors are asked to use CCM’s Center Grove Road entrance. The distribution will operate as a no-questions asked, contactless drive-through event with cars stopping at different food stations categorized by food type. Visitors only need to open the trunk of their car to have boxes of food placed there by volunteers. Also to be distributed are hats and gloves for the colder months.

This is the third food distribution event Table of Hope is holding at CCM in partnership with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Supporting organizations include Alstede Farm and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. Serving as volunteers will be about 60 CCM faculty, staff and students, along with college administrators.

Those who would like to make a contribution to meet the goal of providing 600 turkeys for distribution can mail a check to Alstede Farms, LLC, Post Office Box 278, Chester, New Jersey 07930 and write “TOH Turkey” in the Memo field.
A holiday toy drive also is being held in conjunction with the Thanksgiving food distribution. New, unopened toys can be brought to CCM’s Department of Public Safety near Parking Lot 10 on the college campus. Toy donations are being accepted through November 20.

The previous Table of Hope event at CCM, held in August, provided backpacks with school supplies for children to help them start their school year strong, along with food. The first event, held in June, had New Jersey First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy, Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, State Senator Anthony M. Bucco, and Freeholders John Krickus and Steve Shaw serving as volunteers.
Shortly after COVID-19 struck, Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, pastor of Bethel Church of Morristown, converted the Table of Hope bus that was used to pick up food for its pantry and soup kitchen 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.

“We are delighted to partner once again with CCM so families throughout Morris County can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner,” said Williams.

“We’re delighted to host this event to help those in need during a very difficult and challenging time so they can have a true Thanksgiving,” said Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, CCM president. “We’re proud to partner once again with Table of Hope and Morris County’s Freeholders, Chamber of Commerce, Sheriff’s Office, Alstede Farms and others to ensure people can put food on their tables. It makes us proud to be part of a community that truly cares for its own.”

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 1,000 to 1,500 individuals, reports Teresa Williams, executive director of the Spring Street Community Development Center. To date, more than 18,500 individuals and families have been helped and over 899,300 pounds of food has been distributed.

The Table of Hope soup kitchen has continued to provide dinners but as a take-out service during the pandemic. Table of Hope receives food from the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside, local farms and food service companies. To volunteer or make a donation, visit the Spring Street CDC website at https://springstreetcdc.org/.

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. A list of available food services, including food pantries, volunteer shopper organizations, meal delivery services and take-out meal services, can be found at https://hs.morriscountynj.gov/food-services/.