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ACUA workers unload donated turkeys at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Southern Branch.

ACUA / provided

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Atlantic County Utilities Authority holiday food drive brought in more than 21,000 pounds of food for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Southern Branch during the first two weeks of December.

Atlantic County residents put out bags of canned, nonperishable items with their recycling, and ACUA recycling collection crews picked up the donations.

Held for the past 27 years, the holiday food drive gives residents an easy and convenient way to help the needy while helping the environment, according to a press release from the ACUA.

All canned goods collected during the food drive are dispersed through the food bank network, which distributes groceries each week to more than 300 charities in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and parts of Burlington counties.

More people than ever before have been looking to the food bank and its partner agencies for help, and the generosity of ACUA recycling customers will help many people in need, organizers said.

“These donations really do make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate," ACUA President Rick Dovey said in the press release. “It is, without a doubt, one of our most important community programs.”

Food bank Vice President Richard J. Uniacke said total food distribution is almost double what it was only two years ago. 

The total amount of food collected through the drive over the past 27 years is more than 835,253 pounds.

“It is this generosity on a local level that enables us to continue feeding South Jersey in partnership with more than 300 agencies in our network," he said. "This effort is truly appreciated."

For information call the Community Food Bank Southern Branch at 609-383-8843 or the Atlantic County Utilities Authority at 609-272-6950.

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Contact 609-601-5196 nanette.galloway@shorenewstoday.com Twitter @DBCurrent