The first “Stuff the Bus” collection was held in 2008 to benefit the Sussex County Division of Social Services and it has been an annual county event that both residents and businesses of the community love to support. And, this year Lakeland Bank is excited to be one of the Title Sponsors for this popular local initiative.
“Stuff the Bus puts a fun spin on collecting food for those in need and our Sparta Team is looking forward to hosting the Bus in our parking lot on November 19,” said Mira Cocozziello, VP, Branch Manager. “All of the food and monetary donations collected on this day and during the duration of the food drive will benefit the Sussex County Social Services food pantry.”
Support for this program was clearly evident in 2020 when, under the extraordinary circumstances related to the pandemic, the generosity of Sussex County residents remained strong at a time when the need to stock the food pantries had never been greater. Last year, more than 58,000 pounds of food items and over $15,000 in monetary donations was collected during the "Stuff the Bus" food and donation drive held at various locations the weekend before Thanksgiving.
As 2021 comes to an end, many food pantries face high demand for their services and constantly work to keep the shelves stocked. The Social Services' pantry located in Newton not only provides food to those in need for all county residents, it also helps to restock the food pantries throughout Sussex County. According to county figures, more than one million pounds of food and nearly $100,000 in monetary donations have been collected since this countywide food drive started fourteen years ago.
All Lakeland Bank Branches in Sussex County are collection sites for the food drive which runs from November 1 through November 19. Lakeland invites community members to join the “Stuff the Bus” event on November 19 from 3pm to 6pm at the Sparta Branch located at 7 Town Center Drive. Our friends from RADIO Stations WSUS and WNNJ will be there to help us raise awareness and provide entertainment for this special event.
What Can You Donate?
Donations of non-perishable items such as macaroni and cheese, tuna and other canned meats, meals in a can, hearty soups, shelf-stable milk, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, vegetables, boxed mashed potatoes, fruit, rice, pancake mix, and syrup.
Monetary donations are also appreciated and directly benefit residents of Sussex County – please make checks payable to: Sussex County Division of Social Services and mail to 83 Spring Street, Newton, NJ 07860
Participants for “Stuff the Bus” include radio stations WNNJ 103.7, WSUS 102.3 and MAX 106.3 and the ShopRites of Byram, Franklin, Newton and Sparta as well as Franklin Mutual Insurance Company, and R. Poust Inc.
Individuals or families in need of food may go to the Division of Social Services, located at 83 Spring Street in Newton, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Donations are also accepted during these hours or special arrangements can be made for after-hours donations by calling 973-383-3600.
At Lakeland, serving the community is the path we have taken time and again to demonstrate our commitment to being a good corporate citizen. Visit our Corporate Responsibility section to learn more about how Lakeland serves the community and read our Commitment to Community blogs.