The scene on a recent Thursday morning at a local grocery store almost looked like something you would see on the Food Network. Teams lined up with their carts, just 40 minutes and $125 dollars for groceries – ready to play “Full Cart Bingo” in support of the Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County (JFCS).
Investors Bank has long supported JFCS of Greater Mercer County through grants administered by its Investors Bank and Roma Bank Community Foundations. But Investors Bank employees at branches in Mercer County wanted to be more involved, so recently, they furthered their support by participating in a grocery shopping spree to fill the shelves, refrigerators and freezers of the non-profit’s Yvette Sarah Clayman Kosher Food Pantry.
Investors Bank Assistant Vice President and Lawrenceville Branch Manager Carole Bursac organized the Investors teams. “We would bring a Foundation grant check to JFCS, and we knew about all of the good work they did, we just wanted to see if there was something more we could do, to be more involved,” explained Bursac.
Investors Bank Vice President and Community Development Officer-NJ Sandy Broughton and District Manager Linda Martin joined Bursac and five employees from the Bank’s Lawrenceville, Mercerville, Chambersburg, Robbinsville, and West Trenton branches to form teams who competed against each other to fill their carts with needed items without going over their $125 budget. In all, the Investors team purchased nearly $400 in groceries.
“We all are pretty competitive,” said Martin, “and that is a really good thing for getting as many grocery items as we can for JFCS. I think people would generally be surprised that there are so many who are food insecure in the area, particularly those households with children. Life happens – people lose jobs, illnesses occur, someone needs to leave a home unexpectedly – and often creates food insecurity. We are glad we can participate today and provide some assistance.”
Eden Aaronson, JFCS Director of Volunteers and Community Outreach, and Pantry Manager Will Harrison, were excited by the enthusiasm and competitive spirit of the Investors’ teams, who stood in three groups plotting their strategy. “The more food we have in the Pantry,” said Aaronson, “the more people we can feed.”
Harrison said the Pantry provides nutritious food to nearly 250 people of all denominations. “Our pantry provides families with access to healthy food to supplement their own grocery shopping,” said Harrison.
According to Aaronson, “It’s a choice-based pantry enabling clients to shop for their food, rather than picking up a prepared bag. We have a registered dietitian on staff and we are very focused on educating and enabling our clients to care for themselves and others.”
Meanwhile, the Investors teams had a “Bingo” card of kosher items they needed for their carts such as canned carrots and corn, granola bars, frozen broccoli, pancake mix, cereal and condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup, among other items. The winning team – purchasing all of the required items, including multiples – came in at $124.92.
“No one really lost,” said Broughton, “the whole purpose was to fill the shelves of the food pantry for JFCS clients. Investors Bank is proud to support its employees in working with non-profit organizations who are enriching their communities. We had fun here today, but we also were able to assist JFCS with helping families in need.”
JFCS of Greater Mercer County offers comprehensive social services in central New Jersey for people of all ages and backgrounds. The agency provides help, hope, and healing with high-quality programs and clinical services. JFCS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community service agency with programs that include therapy, information and referral, support, education and advocacy. By combining contemporary clinical skills with values of charity, righteousness and compassion, JFCS seeks to assist families with many of life’s toughest challenges. Since 1937, JFCS agency has served those in need in Greater Mercer County.
About Investors Bank
Investors Bank, headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, is a full-service community bank that has been serving customers since 1926. With over $26 billion in assets and a network of more than 145 retail branches, Investors Bank delivers personalized services and products tailored to the needs of its customers. Investors Bank’s banking services include complete deposit, loan and cash management products for consumers and businesses.
Investors Bank: Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.