Spirit of giving celebrated in Camden and Bergen counties

As the nation prepares to once again celebrate Thanksgiving during this ongoing pandemic, many outlets and organizations have partnered to support their local communities.

Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen and the Cooper Foundation teamed up with an anonymous donor to provide 1,000 turkeys to Camden seniors and families for this Thanksgiving holiday.

Joining the mayor and the foundation, city council members, community leaders, Camden corporate partners, the city’s Department of Human Services, staff and volunteers provided a total of 1,000 turkeys and turkey breasts to Camden senior citizens and families.

The turkeys have been donated by an anonymous individual who was instrumental in providing the 1,900 holiday meals distributed last year to seniors in Camden during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The turkeys were distributed to Camden residents on Monday at preselected City of Camden community centers and housing complexes.

Meanwhile, in Hackensack, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation‘s celebration of National Community Foundation Week from Nov. 12 through Nov. 18 highlighted the escalation of food insecurity in the region.

The NNJCF collaborated with community leader Randy Glover and donated frozen turkeys to All Access Community Development Corp., a nonprofit organization headquartered in Hackensack, to help young adults with families in Bergen County. All Access CDC distributed the frozen turkeys at the Majestic Lodge and Temple (Elks) through its “Grab & Go Meals” program.

From left: Northern New Jersey Community Foundation Executive Director Mary Call Blanusa;  Associate Director Danielle DeLaurentis; All Access Community Development Corp. Chairman/Executive Director Randy Glover; and Chief Operating Officer Joellen Green. (Northern New Jersey Community Foundation)

The donation of turkeys came at a particularly difficult time for people struggling with food security.

“Our allotment of food distribution has increased from 800 meals to well over 1,600 daily. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation’s donation of frozen turkeys will help our young adults with families,” said Randy Glover, chairman/executive director, All Access Community Development Corp.

Also in Bergen County, last week, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the County of Bergen and Hackensack University Medical Center teamed up to deliver 1,500 turkeys for the families and individuals served by Center for Food Action.

The Bergen County Sheriff’s Department has made this donation an annual event, providing tens of thousands of Thanksgiving meals over the years. Lead by Officer Aret Yesiltepe, the turkeys were purchased through funds raised through the PBA Local 134 Civic Association. Funding was also provided by a number of organizations, including Hackensack University Medical Center and the the Contemporary Club of Ho-Ho-Kus.