South River ‘Cram the Cruiser’ event turns into ‘cram the food bank’

  1 / 3 
The South River "Cram the Cruiser" food drive event brought in 10 police cruiser loads of food, $500 in gift cards, $880 in checks and $232 in cash to the South River Food Bank.PHOTOS BY VASHTI HARRIS/STAFF
  2 / 3 
  3 / 3 
×
  1 / 3 
The South River "Cram the Cruiser" food drive event brought in 10 police cruiser loads of food, $500 in gift cards, $880 in checks and $232 in cash to the South River Food Bank.PHOTOS BY VASHTI HARRIS/STAFF
  2 / 3 
  3 / 3 

SOUTH RIVER–Using an official police vehicle to collect much-needed items for the South River Food Bank, the South River Police Department held a one-day “Cram the Cruiser” food drive.

South River Food Bank Supervisor Beth Lukac previously said the mission of the food bank is to assist members of the community who are struggling to close the gap in their monthly food budget. The food bank is located at 98 Jackson St.

“To accomplish our mission we distribute food on a monthly basis and provide nutrition education and information on additional resources that are available in our local area,” Lukacs said. “Our Connections program includes bi-monthly visits from the Saint Peter’s Community Health nurses, monthly visits from the Elijah’s Promise HEART team, and monthly nutritional lessons from SNAP-Ed. We also provide additional assistance to our families with children through our summer lunch, school supplies, diaper and holiday toy programs.”

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis causing an increased need for various food items, Police Chief Mark Tinitigan said the police department held the Cram the Cruiser food drive on May 9 at the South River Police Department headquarters building, located at 61 Main St.

“At the end of the three hours, we were able to bring 10 police cruiser loads of food, $500 in gift cards, $880 in checks and $232 in cash over to the food bank,” Tinitigan said.

Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police Diane Nale said seven pallets were donated and delivered from MoLo Solutions and L.S. Trucking. The South River Portuguese Club also donated a sizable food donation and gift cards.

At the Borough Council’s May 11 meeting, Tinitigan thanked Mayor John Krenzel, members of the council, Nale, dispatcher Adam DeHanes and all who donated food.

“Thank you to all the residents who donated. I would also like to give a big thank you to Aldi Grocery Stores in conjunction with L.S. Trucking, Roland Food, Safeway Logistics Solutions, Ron Son Foods, Rema Foods, which is associated with Penske Logistics and Warehousing,” Tinitigan said. “They delivered seven pallets of food [in a] 10-wheeler during that timeframe.”

If someone could not make the food drive but would like to support the South River Food Bank, donations can be dropped off at the food bank during times that include:

  • Saturdays from 1-3 p.m.
  • Mondays from 9:30-11 a.m. and 5-6 p.m.
  • Tuesdays from 9:30-11 a.m. and 5-6 p.m.
  • Wednesdays from 9:30 to noon

“In the end, the food bank was stacked, it was no longer ‘cram the cruiser’ it was actually ‘cram the food bank,'” Tinitigan said.

For more information about the South River Food Bank, call 732-238-3020.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.