newjerseydevils.com – Through the first annual Jersey Hockey Fights Hunger program, 11,797 pounds of food were collected for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. This year’s event included the Devils annual Food Drive on Thu., Nov. 20 at Prudential Center, as well as the Coach4Food program on Mon., Nov. 24, and Tue., Nov. 25 at AmeriHealth Pavilion. Donations from all events will be distributed throughout the state.
All fans attending the game Nov. 20 vs. Florida were asked to bring unopened cans or boxes of non-perishable food. Requested items included canned fish/meat, powdered milk and infant formula, boxed/canned meals, peanut butter, and canned vegetables/ fruits. Wives/girlfriends of Devils' players were on hand to assist CFB of NJ volunteers in the collection.
The Atlantic/Metropolitan Hockey League’s top rivals – the New Jersey Rockets and New Jersey Titans – teamed-up to collect food for the Coach4Food program, joining Devils’ alumni Bruce Driver, Grant Marshall, and Rob Skrlac on the ice at AmeriHealth Pavilion.
The Coach4Food program is now in its fourth season, and was founded in North Bay, Ont. by Tom Hedican, a hockey coach. Hedican, who was inspired to “do something” and make a difference by his idol Bruce Springsteen, started coaching his on-ice practice sessions in exchange for food donations.
The CFB of NJ annually distributes more than 21 million pounds of food and groceries to help private, non-profit groups, including food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, child care centers, and senior programs. It serves more than 1,600 organizations in 18 counties throughout the state, gathering donations from more than 250 corporations with its small fleet of trucks. The CFB of NJ Hillside warehouse is fully equipped with 280,000 square feet of space, including 43,000 square feet of freezer and cooler space.
Last year, more than 21,000 volunteer visits resulted in 57,000-plus hours of work which benefited more than 500,000 hungry people in New Jersey. In addition, the Kids Café program provides free meals to 600 low-income children five evenings each week and the Kids Closet and Tools4Schools programs distribute new clothing and school supplies to thousands of children in need.