Edison Township kicks off food drive

Food banks anticipate increased demand this year

BY CHRIS GAETANO Staff Writer

Edison is teaming up with local religious organizations in a food drive to replenish the stocks of relief programs that serve people in need in the township.

The effort is being organized in order to meet the anticipated demand in the upcoming holiday season.

The initiative was announced on Oct. 28, when Mayor Jun Choi join with representatives from the Hands of Hope Food Pantry, the New Beginnings Food Pantry and the Edison Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church at the Edison firehouse No. 2 on Route 27. Outside, the first snow of the year dropped big, wet flakes on the town.

Choi said that it’s during hard economic times that food pantries need the most help. As people lose their jobs and homes, he said, the number of people who need to avail themselves of community services swells. With this in mind, he said, Edison needs to help the town’s residents who are in need of food.

“We’re doing the best we can to ensure that Edison families, at least, are all well fed,” said Choi.

Jackie Goedesky, speaking for the Hands of Hope, voiced similar sentiments, saying that she expects the number of people needing assistance from the food pantry she runs to rapidly increase as the economy worsens. She said this is the one of the most difficult times anyone in America has seen. She remarked that she once overheard someone saying that there are no poor people in Edison. She said that this notion is not true.

“There are many people in Edison that need your help,” said Goedesky.

According to Goedesky, the Hands of Hope serves about 1,056 people in town, and expects this number to rise. She said that even if all one can give is one or two cans of food, it will still make a difference.

Ida Padron, speaking for the Seventhday Adventist Church’s food bank, agreed, saying that people are facing a particularly difficult time this year. Meanwhile, Tracy Disney, of the New Beginnings Church food pantry, said that both the number and type of people needing their services has increased.

“The dynamics of the needy have changed drastically. … Today it is the dad who has lost his job due to downsizing, the wife whose husband dies suddenly, the minimum wage employee who needs a little help to get through each month. With these realities, food pantries have become a much-needed and appreciated resource,” said Disney, who added that New Beginnings serves 50 families a month. “They look to us to be there.”

Anyone who wishes to help in the effort can drop off donations at various locations within the township, including the municipal building and police headquarters, both off Route 27, all six of the Edison firehouses, all three libraries, and both the Stelton and Minnie Veal community centers. Donations will go to all three food pantries.

“The secret of giving is that while it may seem as though we are giving up a part of ourselves, we are all stronger and better for it,” said Choi.

For more information, call the Department of Public Works at 732-248-7288.

Contact Chris Gaetano at

sentnorth@gmnews.com.