Five Girl Scouts from Troop 2264 in Harding received their Silver Award Wednesday, the second highest award given by the Girl Scouts of America.
The girls, all freshmen at Madison High School, will be working their way toward gold as they spend six hours of their Saturday this weekend at the Madison Stop & Shop collecting food for the Interfaith Food Pantry in Morris Plains.
“This is kind of a tradition for us,” said Amy Nagle, one of troop's two leaders, adding that the troop has been volunteering in this capacity since they were in the third grade.
The Silver awards went to Danielle Del Pesce, Dorothy Lee, Kelsey Mirabelle, Kathleen Nagle, and Kylie Tevald who were recognized at Wednesday evening’s Harding Township committee meeting.
Girl Scouts who will help them gather food are MacKenzie McClay and Samantha Reina along with junior school Girl Scouts: Lisa Hiscano, leader, troop 1693,Jane Hiscano, 6th grade, troop 1693 and Yeongeun Kwon, 8th grade, troop 1113. They will man the doors at the Stop & Shop from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with troop leaders Nagle and Kathleen McClay.
Anything the Girl Scouts collect will be particularly appreciated since donations are down this year, said Carolyn Lake, IFP assistant director. It could be the snowstorm at the end of October threw everyone’s timing off, but “it’s hard to believe it’s the week before Thanksgiving and things are this light.
“We’ve been panicking,“ she said. The Pantry has had to purchasing food like gravy, items “that typically come in from schools and Scouts and companies.”
On the Pantry’s website there are a list of foods that are sought: low salt canned vegetables, dry or canned beans, canned fruit (low sugar or lite syrup), canned meats and meals, Parmalat or dry milk, hearty soups and low salt soups, brown and white rice, cereal, pasta and whole wheat pasta, peanut butter and tea.
Tea is a requested item, she said, and other treats like some hot chocolate could be considered.
In 2010, the Pantry fed 5,000 households, she said. This year, as of September, that number was 4,157, she said, but many more are expected in the rush of the holiday season.
There has also been a demographic shift from unskilled workers from Morristown and Dover to blue collar families in Mount Olive, Roxbury and Denville, among others. “Now we‘ve gone to the next level, cutting into the next level of blue collar workers and white collar workers,“ she said.
The Pantry also sponsors the Angel Tree, a program for Christmas gift giving. Two big donors who have been very generous in the past are One Call Medical of Parsippany and MJM Signature Group of Morristown, she said.
The Pantry’s biggest immediate need is to “replenish the funds that we need to buy our baskets,” she said. Donors can make donations online at the pantry website www.mcifp.org, or send in donations to Interfaith Food Pantry, 2 Executive Drive, Morris Plains, NJ 07590. Cash donations are welcome at the new Morris Plains headquarters located in Greystone Park. Phone number is 973 538 8049.
Thinking ahead? Here’s what is on sale at Stop & Shop starting Friday: Hellmann’s mayo 2 for $6; Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail 2 for $4; Barilla pasta 3 for $5; Classic pasta sauce 2 for $4; Kraft Salad Dressing 2 for $5; Progresso Bread Crumbs 10 for $10; Stop & Shop Olive Oil $4.99.