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A Warm Heart Starts with a Warm Meal

Legion of Good Will provides food security during holiday season

The holiday season is a magical time of year -- visiting our family, giving gifts to loved ones, and cooking meals with recipes passed down for generations. Yet imagine if out of everything that is happening during this busy season, only one thing mattered most: Providing a meal for your family. Sharing nutritious meals around the dinner table is out of reach for far too many people living in New Jersey, but it is an issue that non-profit organization Legion of Good Will is striving to alleviate. Legion of Good Will’s “Everlasting Christmas” hunger relief campaign helps these struggling families by organizing bountiful food baskets filled with the essentials for nutritious meals.

After a great deal of effort from partners and sponsors, the campaign to guarantee food security during the holidays provided 200+ food baskets to underprivileged families in the Newark and Orange areas before schools close for winter break. The deserving recipients of these baskets include the children of Oliver St. School, Ridge St. School, Hawkins St. School, South St. School, the YMCA Shelter of Newark, Oakwood Ave. School, and Lincoln Avenue School.

This distribution of holiday food baskets is especially beneficial for students who come from homes of food insecurity because often times the most nutritious meals these children eat are provided in their school cafeteria. So before school lets out, the students belonging to families who need extra help this season will received their own basket from LGW, weighing in at nearly 50 pounds! This basket is packed with everything growing children want and need, like rice, macaroni, beans, soups, cereals, oatmeal, and some special sweet treats. Such a variety of food ensures that the students will sustain healthy eating habits over the holidays, with the added joy of sharing these delicious meals with family.

In order to reach as many families as possible during the “Everlasting Christmas” campaign, Legion of Good Will relies on the incredible solidarity of their donors and volunteers who support their mission. Recently on December 13, LGW received many helping hands from the generous students of Lincoln Avenue School. Seventh grade student Aalyia Moore, one of the many students who volunteered, explained their motivation.

“The day the Legion of Good Will came to our classroom, they challenged us to help our community with a food drive. Not everybody can have a good Christmas, so we decided we were going to change that by helping them out.” These children donated their food, time, and effort to fill numerous bags with food items, knowing that with their help less privileged members of their community will not go hungry this Christmas.

Legion of Good Will reaches out to compassionate individuals like the students of Lincoln Avenue School to help recapture the magic of the holidays for those who need it most, and their efforts are leading the way. This fundraising campaign is still on-going, so in the spirit of the giving season, help LGW make sure New Jersey families have warm meals and warm hearts this Christmas!

See the results of our Everlasting Christmas 2016

Foto: Sâmara Caruso

Learn more about the efforts of this mission on LGW’s Faceook page, www.facebook.com/legionofgoodwill, or visit their website, www.legionofgoodwill.org and find out how to contribute to this local cause.