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Fundraising efforts provide lunch for those in blue, helps local restaurants

METUCHEN – An effort to recognize “the courageous men and women of the Metuchen Police Department” has led to a fundraising campaign surrounding National Thank a Police Officer Day, which falls this year on Sept. 18.

Residents Richard Menziuso and Stu Segal are leading the effort to recognize the national day in the borough, which they began last year.

They have set up a GoFundMe page – “Lunch for our heroes, the Metuchen PD” – and encourage others to thank a police officer and help them raise money to provide lunch from local Metuchen restaurants for members of the department on Saturdays.

“Clearly the pandemic has made it difficult to celebrate in a public gathering fashion or to display the town in blue for the day, but Stu Segal and I have been creative considering the circumstances,” Menziuso said. “We believe in celebrating the day in honor of those who chose to become police officers and at the same time help local businesses who are still trying to make up for the lost business from the pandemic.”

Donations last year exceeded $2,000 and the money raised allowed for lunches through to early 2021.

“It was amazing what local small businesses contributed as well to support either with extra food and discounts,” Menziuso said. “We truly love our local small businesses and they understand the importance of community including our first responders – police, fire department and EMS [emergency medical services.]”

Next year, they hope to encourage a town-wide celebration with distribution of lawn signs and blue ribbons, Menziuso said.

For more information, visit www.gofundme.com/f/7sfxnz-lunch-for-our-heroes-the-metuchen-pd.

The fundraising efforts will run through the end of September.

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