During the month of March, many residents of Hamilton Township in Atlantic County, New Jersey were busily attempting to support a local family and community members by bringing them food. People would post on Facebook asking if everyone was OK and would reach out to neighbors that they were worried may have been unable to get out of their homes because of the COVID crisis.
It became apparent that these individual efforts, though amazing, could be coordinated to help more people. A steering committee was created to discuss the possibility of having a mobile food pantry. Leaders throughout the community were brought together to begin discussing the logistics. First United Methodist Church of ML, Hamilton Township School District officials, Main Street food pantry, business owners, including Yogi’s Sugar Hill Inn, County Seat Florist and Earth Angels for Dementia; volunteers, the Hamilton Township police department, the Senior Advisory Committee, the Mays Landing Merchants, and the Rotary all provided individuals to sit on this committee. From these efforts The Township of Hamilton Cares was created.
This committee determined that bringing food to individuals in the community was better done by directly connecting with those individuals at risk and in need. Volunteers offered to work directly with specific families to allow them to feel less alone and have weekly check-in‘s. The school district stepped up in a major way providing a hotline and staff to help provide distributed meals to every child in the community! Volunteers from the initiative created an email address and helped to find families in need. The group still works diligently to see needs in the community and help to meet them through collaboration and communication.
Food justice is an important part of community justice. We take donations form local businesses and community members and use them to fight hunger. Help us connect with donors and with people in need.
Volunteers are utilized to connect with families, deliver food, and provide resources to members of the Hamilton Township Community. We provide more then food... we prove to members of our community that someone cares!
Our community is full of people who want to help. We work to help the people providing services with the people who need them. Come connect with people in new ways. See our Partners page to see all of the Community Collaborations that make our program possible.
The first component of becoming a Cares Initiative is Collaboration. Create a team including your School Districts, Police Department, Pantry Resources, Businesses and Community Leadership. As the School is often the heart of the community connecting with them and utilizing their resources is essential. Also look to see what your community is already doing to help its members. Bringing all of these efforts together can help you do more to help. During these difficult times, community members may be out there helping each other already. Cares initiatives are all about connecting leadership and efficiently utilizing and collaborating programs and resources. Contact us to start your own Cares Initiative!