Community Steps Up To Support Local Youth-Led Service Project

Turk and Elizabeth Moran, with support from local schools and businesses, raised $1,146 for the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris. As members of the 2015-2016 Souper Bowl of Caring National Youth Advisory Board, the brother and sister team served as local advocates for the youth-led organization and used the energy of the Super Bowl to raise awareness of local hunger.

“Our first step was to think of ways to get the community involved,” said Turk Moran. “A lot of people in the area are aware of Souper Bowl of Caring, so we focused on local shops and restaurants.”

During Super Bowl week, eight businesses in Chester and Mendham raised more than $200 by putting out tip jars in support of the Interfaith Food Pantry through the Souper Bowl of Caring. A flier beside each jar posed the question: “What if everyone who watched the Super Bowl donated a single dollar?”

Another $900 was raised on Super Bowl Sunday when a group of teens took shifts bagging groceries at ShopRite of Chester in return for donations. Turk and Elizabeth enlisted help from the Mendham High School Service Club and from Hilltop Presbyterian Youth Group to make their “Bag for Charity” event a success.

“Our community is filled with generous people who genuinely care about their neighbors,” said Elizabeth. “And it’s good for young people to know they are never too young to make a difference.”

As part of their communication plan, the Morans asked local schools to make an announcement during Super Bowl week about their initiative to fight local hunger. In response, the students at Black River Middle School organized their own Souper Bowl of Caring food drive, and collected one 146 food items for the Chester Food Pantry.

On Feb. 21, Elizabeth visited the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris to deliver the monetary donation in person and to express her appreciation for the service they provide to local families in need.

According to the United Way of New Jersey, there are more than 40,000 households in Morris County, representing nearly a quarter of the county’s population, struggling to afford the basics of food, clothing, housing and childcare.

Souper Bowl of Caring engages youth across the nation to fight hunger and poverty in their own communities around the time of the Super Bowl football game. So far this year, more than $9 million has been raised nationally through Souper Bowl of Caring, with 100 percent of all donations going straight to local charities.


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