Millburn sports teams support Essex County food pantries

Photo Courtesy of Robin Peacock
Players from the Millburn–Short Hills Youth Lacrosse Club Class of 2028 stand in front of MEND’s ‘The Green Bean,’ a mobile food pantry that supports 22 food pantries across Essex County.

MILLBURN, NJ — Local youth groups such as the Millburn–Short Hills Youth Baseball, Millburn–Short Hills Lacrosse Club and the Millburn High School girls varsity soccer team have conducted food drives at the Kings supermarket in the Short Hills section of Millburn to support Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity and its network of 22 food pantries across Essex County.

On Oct. 16, lacrosse players, ranging in age from 10 to 12, spent the afternoon at Kings, where they solicited donations for essential items such as cooking oil, flour and spices. 

“We meet with our pantries twice a month to find out what their clients need — we can’t assume it’s a can of soup and a bag of pasta. Sometimes the need is as simple as salt and pepper to flavor their food,” MEND Executive Director Robin Peacock said.

This past weekend, the young lacrosse volunteers handed flyers to patrons and then sorted donations and loaded them onto MEND’s mobile pantry, a remodeled school bus called the “Green Bean.” 

“Having our players take time out of their weekend to give back to the community is so important. The kids had to understand what they were asking for and why,” Greg Edell, coach of Millburn Lacrosse Class of 2028 boys team said. “The best part is that the kids really enjoyed themselves and many of them asked me if we can do this again. This will leave an impression on them for years to come.” 

MEND is planning another food drive in partnership with the Kings in Short Hills on Saturday, Nov. 13, from noon to 4 p.m. MEND is an interfaith network of 22 member food pantries and community partners located throughout Essex County. To learn more about MEND, visit