SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — For more than three decades there has been a strong relation between Food Pantry at Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange and the parish school. In the weeks before the annual Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter food drives, the eighth-grade girls and boys can be seen hauling bags of food that they have collected in the preceding weeks up the hill to the pantry. And, if there is an emergency, the OLS schoolchildren are the first to meet it.
Every so often, a student steps forward and launches a “super-drive.” Three years ago Harold Fullilove collected 200 cans of food during the summer, just in time for the fall rush. This past spring, Parker Hamilton raised $350, according to a Sept. 9 press release.
Parker, a sixth-grader at OLS, stars on the OLS volleyball, basketball and track teams where he has been breaking class shot put records for three years. He brings that same spirit and enthusiasm to every project he undertakes.
“This was a godsend and very surprising,” OLS Food Pantry Director Kate Cahill said. “But, I should have known that the girls and boys from OLS always come through. Our food collections drop during the summer but the need continues for more than 100 families per week. This donation will help us get through the summer.”
The OLS Food Pantry is a leading member of Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity, a group of 17 interfaith food pantries that serves Essex County.