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Lakeland Bank Joins Annual Holiday Food Drive to Help New Jersey United Way Replenish Pantries

OAK RIDGE, N.J., November 11, 2013 - Lakeland Bank is participating in the New Jersey United Way food drive through November 30th to benefit local pantries who are struggling to keep their shelves stocked. The holiday season brings an additional layer of financial burden and stress to many already experiencing financial strain. Donations will help United Way relieve this burden for families in need in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties. Donations can be dropped off at all Lakeland Bank Branch Locations.
Lakeland Bank customers and walk-ins are encouraged to join our colleagues to help fill the donation boxes. There is a high demand for non-perishable canned meats (chicken, ham, sausage and tuna), baby wipes and diapers. Other suggested items include, canned fruits and vegetables, soups and stews, pasta, rice, peanut butter, hot and cold boxed cereals, powdered or evaporated milk, 100 percent fruit juice and baby formula.
“Local food pantry leaders are reporting an increase in need and a decrease in donations and United Way pantries are busier than ever. These hunger relief organizations need our help and we are grateful for this opportunity to give back and make a difference in our communities,” said Thomas J. Shara, President and CEO of Lakeland Bank.
Startling Statistics
The United Way of Northern New Jersey reports that 1.1 million New Jersey households are unable to afford life’s basic necessities. That number includes those living in poverty and a population often overlooked – ALICE, a United Way acronym forAsset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. The agency’s Study of Financial Hardship in New Jersey found that:
·         Half of New Jersey’s 566 towns have 30 percent or more households earning less than what is needed to afford the basics
·         One-third of ALICE households are headed by those in their prime wage-earning years, 45- to 64-years-old
·         More than half of all jobs in New Jersey pay less than $20 an hour; $40,000 annually
For more information about the food drive, visit a Lakeland Bank branch.
About Lakeland Bank
Lakeland Bancorp, the holding company for Lakeland Bank, has $3.3 billion in total assets with 52 offices spanning eight northern New Jersey counties: Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren. Lakeland Bank, headquartered in Oak Ridge, offers an extensive array of consumer and commercial products and services, including online and mobile banking, localized commercial lending teams, an expanded residential mortgage lending platform and 24-hour-or-less turnaround on consumer loan applications. For more information about the full line of products and services, visit LakelandBank.com