#BetterTogether: Community Food Bank of New Jersey hard at work ahead of this weekend’s turkey drive

HILLSIDE, N.J. — CBS New York is partnering with local food banks to help those in need this holiday season.

A major highlight is teaming up with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, which has been fighting food insecurity for nearly 50 years. 

CBS New York’s Vanessa Murdock visited the food bank’s headquarters Thursday in Hillside, where fresh meals are being prepared ahead of this weekend’s turkey drive.

Volunteers hard at work for Season of Giving turkey drive

“We’re breaking a sweat, having fun,” said Priscilla Morris, a volunteer with Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Down the hall, bulk pasta gets divvied up by more volunteers.

“It’s the time of Thanksgiving. It’s time to give back,” said Prashanth Lakhihal, a volunteer with BNY Mellon Pershing, from Edison.

‘Tis the season of giving, but Community Food Bank fights food insecurity all year long, distributing more than 100 million pounds of food. CEO and president Elizabeth McCarthy says 750,000 New Jerseyans face food insecurity.

Gearing up to give back this Season of Giving

“People think of New Jersey as a wealthy state, as some of our counties as kind of wealthy, but there are pockets of food insecurity everywhere,” she said. “It’s people who are working, sometimes one, even two jobs but just can’t make it to the next paycheck.”

It’s college students, elderly and children. That’s why the work happening in the community kitchen is so important.

Fresh meals made from scratch, like beef empanadas, get prepared daily for kid cafes across the state. Kids grab the delicious eats after school to ensure they don’t go to bed hungry. Production manager Daryl Walker describes the work as pleasing.

“I was one of those kids who didn’t have anything to eat when I was young,” he said.

He relied on places like the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. Now, he’s on the other side, making sure healthy food hits home for all.

About 85,000 turkeys chickens and hams will be distributed for Thanksgiving, and you can help.

This weekend marks the 23rd Annual Turkey Drive — CBS New York is a proud media sponsor and will be broadcasting live from Jersey City, Livingston and Denville.

CLICK HERE for more from our Season of Giving.

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