JLOSH donates 306 Thanksgiving meals to needy families

ORANGE, NJ — The Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills supported vulnerable families with children in the Orange School District this Thanksgiving. Each year, JLOSH seeks to provide families in need with a happier Thanksgiving. With our partners, including Kings Food Markets, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Dun & Bradstreet, local businesses and area schools, JLOSH donated 306 complete Thanksgiving meals to the Orange School District for distribution to identified families.

Addressing childhood hunger has been a primary focus within JLOSH’s mission of serving children in its service area. JLOSH’s annual Thanksgiving Basket Program aims to provide a healthy and wholesome holiday meal to families facing food insecurity by supporting those with children on the free or reduced lunch program in the Orange School District. Partnering with Kings Food Markets, which donates nearly all the turkeys, JLOSH leverages other stakeholders to drive for all the traditional Thanksgiving sides, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, yams, cranberry sauce and gravy. Through these collective efforts, JLOSH donated approximately $6,800 worth of food to the Orange School District this Thanksgiving.

“So many families within our service area do not know where their next meal will come from. JLOSH seeks to alleviate this burden for many families this holiday season by giving them the opportunity to enjoy and celebrate a Thanksgiving dinner,” JLOSH President Rosemary Mattson said in a press release. “We thank our partners, especially Kings Food Markets, Saint Barnabas Medical Center and Dun & Bradstreet, who recognize this need in our communities and support our efforts to reduce the trauma many children experience because of threats of food insecurity.”

“The Junior League has been partners with our school district since 2012, supplying our students and the community with dental supplies, winter gloves, books, backpacks with school supplies, feminine hygiene products, pre-K school nurses’ pantry supplies and of course our yearly turkey drive and fixings for our students and their households,” Tyrone Dorsey, manager of food services for the Orange School District, said in the release. “The Junior League has been supportive of our students even outside of our school buildings. What the Junior League brings to the Orange community is a true blessing. Our students and their families are very appreciative for what they receive from the Junior League.”

JLOSH also received support in this endeavor from the Millburn School District, Jefferson Elementary School in Maplewood, West Orange School District, Christ Church Nursery School in Short Hills, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield and Maplecrest Ford Lincoln of Union.