Daily Archives: November 24, 2009

Local Food Pantries In Need Of Donations

With Thanksgiving just 2 days away and Christmas right around the corner, local food pantries that serve the Bayshore region are in need and are seeking donations for the holiday season.

Nonperishable items, such as pasta, canned vegetables, rice, cereal and canned soups are in great demand. The economic recession has created a greater need for the services of local resources like the Keyport Ministerium.

Many food pantries are associated with the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, the largest pantry along the northern Jersey Shore. Visit the FoodBank website at www.foodbankmoc.org for information on local pantries and how to contact them.

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Filed under Bayshore, Community Food Bank Of New Jersey, food drive, Keyport Ministerium

Food And Toy Drive at Middletown Thanksgiving Football Game

The Middletown Touchdown and Booster clubs and the Middletown PBA will hold a toy and canned goods drive to benefit needy families in the Middletown area during the annual High School South-High School North Thanksgiving day football game Thursday at High School South, 900 Nut Swamp Road.

Kick-off is 10:30 a.m.

The school district asks that toys be unwrapped, and that gift cards in denominations of $25 or less are appreciated.

To coordinate early drop-offs, call Tom Bunge at (732) 809-3055 or e-mail him at tbunge@fdmmarketing.com

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Filed under food drive, High School Football, Middletown, toy drive


November 23, 2009

President Announces New Effort to Increase Hands-On STEM Activities for Students

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12), a professional physicist most of his career, today supported President Obama’s announcement of a new campaign to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The new science education initiative includes increased community-based collaborations between scientists, engineers, teachers and students.

One component is a National Lab Day tentatively set for early May 2010. Middle and high school students will benefit from hands-on, discovery-based laboratory opportunities. Additionally, National Lab Day will provide schools with an opportunity to assess and upgrade their current lab facilities. Nearly 200 organizations representing STEM professionals and educators are supporting National Lab Day. More information can be found at http://www.nationalabday.org.

“This is a terrific initiative that comes at a time when we need an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ mentality to provide our children with a first-rate math and science education,” Holt said. “Why is this important?

“We still don’t know how to cure cancer or AIDS, or completely ease the suffering of those with mental illnesses. We still have tremendous challenges regarding energy consumption. And we still don’t know all we should about our planet and the people who live on it. The answers to these important questions are beginning to be formed in our classrooms with young students who one day may go on to investigate these issues and make advances that will benefit all of us.”

Holt, a former educator who sits on the House Committee on Education and Labor, has been a leader in efforts to improve STEM education. He helped establish the TEACH grants program, which provides up to $16,000 over four years in college aid to students who commit to teaching science, math, and foreign language. He also was a member of the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, which published “Before It’s Too Late: A Report to the Nation from The National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century.”

“The push for improving the public competence in science and mathematics is more than just for reasons of economics, national security, and democracy. It should also be for personal well being. Mathematics and science bring order, harmony, and balance to our lives. They teach us that our world is intelligible and not capricious. They give us the skill for lifelong learning, for creating progress itself. This initiative recognizes that.”

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Filed under House Committee on Education and Labor, Improve Math, President Obama, Rush Holt, Science Education

NJPP Monday Minute: 11/23/09 Thanks and Giving

New Jersey is one of the richest states in the nation and certain counties are among the richest places in the world to live; and yet about 10 percent of households in this state face hunger. We want to believe that hunger only affects people in developing countries or in poor southern states. But two percent more households in New Jersey were hungry in 2007 than were hungry in the preceding 4 years. This is an alarming trend.

The holiday season is associated with family gatherings and big meals where people eat more than they should then sleep in front of the TV only to start eating again when they awaken. For many New Jersey families hardest hit by the poor economy this won’t reflect their holidays.

A new report released by the United States Department of Agriculture found that the percentage of American families who don’t have enough to eat is at its highest level since the agency began food surveys in 1995.

Food banks throughout the state have been struggling to meet a higher demand as the poor economy triggers greater unemployment and/or reduced work hours. One food pantry in particular, the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, is serving 40 percent more households at its Trenton location than a year ago and 50 percent more in Princeton. The median monthly income of families who seek food assistance at the Crisis Ministry is $980 per month–clearly not enough to make ends meet in New Jersey.

Donations and aid to food banks are down–perhaps because the bad economy has reduced everyone’s ability to give. Last winter the Legislature and Governor Corzine sent $3 million in emergency funding to the state’s food banks. This year the state will have to do something again to help. In a country and a state with such wealth we cannot allow people to wonder when and where their next meal will arrive.

The state must continue to provide support for those who need it most. But in this Thanksgiving season, all of us should give thanks for what we have and give whatever we can to those who need it most.

Click >>> Here for a list of food pantries in New Jersey.

Click >>> Here for an additional link to Feeding America

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Filed under food banks, food pantry, hunger, Monday Minute, New Jersey Policy Perspective, Thanksgiving