10.23 Hot Dog Sunday
It was a beautiful, yet windy, day for our annual Hot Dog Sunday at the Corner Cafe & Grill. The Food Bank joined with the Franklin Township PBA, Local 154 to sell hot dogs, veggie burgers, soda, chips, sausage & peppers, the PBA Burger, and the Food Bank Foot Long. A huge shout out to Bobby, owner of the Corner Deli for opening his doors and cooking (inside because of the wind kept blowing out the flame on the grill). We could never have done it without the help of our long-time supporter, Stop & Shop Supermarkets for donating all of the food. Thanks to those of you who stopped by. We raised $550 for the Food Bank and $550 for the PBA – both of which put that money directly back into the community.
10.16 CROP Walk for Hunger
The Somerset CROP Walk took place on Sunday, October 16th. Forty-four participants walked to stamp out hunger globally and raised $2,823.00. The Somerset CROP Walk is a joint effort by the Franklin Township Houses of Worship and hosted by Somerset Presbyterian Church. To learn more about CROP Walk, visit Church World Services’ website.
Another gorgeous day for the 6th annual CanalFest. The artists sold beautiful original works, the kids decorated a ton of pumpkins (donated by Middlebush Farms), Point Community Church was back with their bouncy house, cotton candy, and popcorn. Kids participated in old fashioned games and made arts and crafts. The food … great street fair food. The music … there was so much talent on three different stages. It was such a great event, brought in part through a grant with the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission. The event grossed $19,565.33 – that will help our neighbors in need. Enjoy the photos.
09.24 Franklin Day
The weather started out a little iffy but that didn’t stop hundreds of volunteers and vendors from setting up for the anticipated crowds. The clouds lifted and it turned into a beautiful day. The event organizers estimated a record-breaking approximately 10,000 visitors throughout the course of the day.
A lot of questions were about how to volunteer. Check out our webpage on volunteering. We had so many people stop by to say hello, learn more about how they can help, and to find
about other events that we are having. Mostly, people wanted to know how they can help their neighbors in need.
You can always spot a Food Bank 50/50 person – they are carrying a big red sign! This year the 50/50 raised $345 for the Food Bank.
A huge thank you to the event organizers, Franklin Township and Councilwoman Roz Sherman and our volunteers who helped man the table. But mostly, thank you for stopping by and saying hello :).
07.18 Golf fore Groceries
Our third annual golfing event, Golf fore Groceries, was held on Monday, July 18th at Royce Brook Golf Club. It was so hot but that didn’t stop a record-breaking number of golfers from hitting the links. We hit a hiccup in the middle of play when the skies opened up and it poured. Thank you to our golfers, golf committee, and especially the staff of Melillo Consulting for making our time on the links a huge success.
In the evening we had a great time at The Palace at Somerset Park, our co-host. The silent auction was sponsored by ASL Interpreter Referral Service. We had a lot of great prizes including a trip to Mexico.
With everyone’s help we netted over $22,000!
Please enjoy the video and remember to support our wonderful sponsors.
05.22 Hair of the Dog Run
One of our Board members, Tristan Wallack and his wife Karla, have run in the Hair of the Dog race for more than five years. This year they set an ambitious personal fundraising goal of $1,500 with the proceeds going to the Food Bank. We are so happy to report that they met and exceeded their fundraising goal (115%). Thanks to Karla and Tristan the Food Bank will have an additional, much needed, $1,730!
04.24 Tour de Franklin
Our 27th annual Tour de Franklin brought a lot of changes: new location, new registration software, new routes, new menu. One thing that didn’t change was the Tour has remained our largest fundraiser. This year we had almost 800 participants who, along with our sponsors, raised almost $80,000!
Because the Tour has continued to grow each year, we decided to move the Tour to Franklin High School which has a much larger cafeteria to accommodate all the hungry participants (pre- and post-ride). Speaking of the cafeteria, there were some new menu items added this year: sandwich wraps, salads, hot dogs, hard-boiled eggs, and even pizza! The routes were all easy to follow with the 40-mile giving the most work out (we’re adjusting it for 2017). We even updated our registration software to make it easier for our riders to share with their supporters.
04.02 Going for the Green Craft Beer & Music Festival
We held our 2nd Annual Going for the Green Craft Beer & Music Festival in the greenhouse at Suydam Farms on April 2nd. It might have rained again this year (it seems like we are setting a trend) but our guests stayed dry inside the greenhouse as they listened to some awesome tunes, tasted a ton of beer, ate some delicious food, and had a blast. Check out our YouTube to see what you missed!
02.05 Chili Cook Off
If you cook it they will come! Congratulations to Chef Tom Canales, East Franklin Fire Company (Station 27) and Chef Michael Reinbeck, East Millstone First Aid Squad who won for the best Firehouse Chili. We would also like to congratulate Sophie’s Bistro for their second win as the Best Restaurant Chili.
In addition to the cook-off, the event featured entertainment from Franklin High School’s FHS Warrior Jazz Trio and items for sale such as baked goods, hot dogs, and beverages. Once again, Jenna Danielsen made the delicious cupcakes!!!
All volunteers were courtesy of the Franklin High School Warriors: Key Club, Junior ROTC, Jazz Ensemble, Red Cross Club, National Honor Society. The Art Club made all of the signage. The press for the event was even written by reporters from the school’s newspaper.
09.19 Franklin Day
The weather was gorgeous. Colonial Park was packed with people listening to the music, noching on all of the festival food, climbing the National Guard rock wall, checking out all of the antique cars, shopping at the vendors and checking out non-profits. The Food Bank table had a lot of visitors who wanted to learn how they could help and sign up for our events. Plus, we made $390 off of the 50/50!
It was a beautiful summer day in a vineyard! Add that to the wonderful music of Harry Chapin played by Gregg Parker – great Saturday afternoon! Thank you to Greg Parker and Old York Cellars Winery. With your help we raised over $300 and 329 pounds of food!
07.20 Golf fore Groceries
We think we hit a hole in one with our 2nd Annual Golf fore Groceries. We raised $26,300 from our golf outing, dinner and silent auction.
Golf fore Groceries was co-sponsored by The Palace at Somerset Park who, once again, provided a great evening event – cocktail reception and dinner.
127 golfers rode off in their golf carts, sponsored by Stop & Shop, to see if they would win the $10,000 prize (sponsored by Royce Brook) for a hole in one. Three beverage carts, sponsored by PSE&G, Melillo Consulting, and Rotor Clip, kept our golfers well hydrated on a hot July afternoon. PSE&G also sponsored the golfer’s bag tags. Mulligans, sponsored by Stop & Shop’s Peapod, were very popular and helped raise an additional $205! The 50/50 was sponsored by the Franklin Township PBA, Local 154.
The Silent Auction was sponsored by ASL Interpreter Referral Service, Inc. and included a ton of great prizes (check out the video to see the wonderful prizes). The auction might have been silent but it shouted (or raised) over $5,000! Congratulations to all the winners.
Next year’s Golf fore Groceries is scheduled for July 18, 2016. Sign up early for sponsorship!
06.13 Movies in the Park
Although the weatherman said it was going to rain, it must have been Divine intervention that held the rain off. Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, the Middlebush Reformed Church and the Middlebush Fire Department held the first Movie Night in Thompson Park (at the intersection of South Middlebush Road and Amwell Road). Guests were asked to donate a non-perishable item or money to support the Food Bank.
About 150 people set out their blankets and listened to music provided by a DJ. Movie goers dined on hot dogs, cold beverages, and of course, popcorn. Thanks to Stop & Shop for their donation.
Movie Night raised $468 and 423 pounds of food. Assemblyman Danielsen plans to have another movie night this summer.
04.26 Tour de Franklin
Stay tuned for updates and pictures on the 26th Annual Tour de Franklin.
04.15 Toast to Your Taxes – Wine Tasting at Sophie’s Bistro
Sophie’s Bistro again hosted our annual wine tasting. Guests enjoyed South American wines, good company, and many stayed for dinner. The event raised over $2800! Thank you to all who raised their glass and toasted their taxes with us. A special thank you to Peter Mack and the staff at Sophie’s Bistro for being such great supporters of the Food Bank.
03.14 Going for the Green – Craft Beer Event
March 14th might have been rainy outside but it was warm and dry inside the greenhouse at Suydam Farms. Guests were entertained by Lesser Seamus Band. Irish fare was provided by the Corner Cafe & Grille.
You can’t have a craft beer event without the beer! Guests sampled beer donated by Bronx Brewery (Pale Ale), Great Brewers provided various beers including their Blood Orange brew, Blue Point Toasted Lager – delicious! Plus, it doesn’t get any more local than beer brewed at Suydam Farms. We cannot thank our brewers and distributors for their generous donations!
02.13 Chili Cook Off
The Food Bank hosted its first annual Chili Cook Off on Friday, February 13th at the Community Center. There were two categories – restaurant and firehouse. Guests were asked to sample all chili and put their “bean” (red for firehouses and white for restaurants) into their favorite chili. The beans were counted and the winners were: Sophie’s Bistro and Griggstown Farm & Market tied for the best restaurant chili. The best firehouse chili was won by Chuck Maria, who represented the Franklin Township Fire Inspectors. The trophy for the best firehouse chili will be presented at a later date. Thank you to the judges and to everyone who entered their chili.
12.25 Christmas is the Spirit of Giving & Being with Family
Christmas is the spirit of giving and being with family; no place was this more evident than the Stage House Restaurant and Tavern on Christmas Day. More than 300 Franklin Township Food Bank clients and their families were treated to a delicious Christmas dinner prepared by Stage House staff and served by Food Bank volunteers. The Stage House even invited a special guest who was more than happy to put his red suit and hat back on to give presents to the children.
The dinner was a collaborative event managed by Stage House’s Marketing Director, Christine Woodbury and Franklin Township Food Bank’s Operations Manager, Serena Bennerman. Clients were asked to sign up at the Food Bank and then the Stage House contacted them to confirm their reservation.
Volunteers came from the Food Bank as well as the Stage House’s Scotch Plains and Somerset locations. Stage House employees were asked why they gave up time with their families to volunteer and all of them said “this is our family – our Stage House family!”
Clients were so happy to have had such a wonderful dinner. Over and over again the diners said “the food is delicious” and “this is so great, everything is so fancy!”
Moishe Davidesko, one of the owners of the Stage House Restaurant and Tavern said “Taking care of the community is the most important thing we can do. This is the first of many Christmas dinners to come. We are starting a tradition.” The Stage House are huge supporters of the food bank having donated hams last Christmas and underwriting the food bank’s Summer Program which provides additional to food to clients with children between the ages of 6-16 who would normally have 10 meals provided by the school district during the summer months.
CanalFest 2014 was a huge success
You walked up to the entrance at Market Street and Amwell Road to be greeted by Franklin Township Food Bank staff and volunteers (from Franklin High School’s Key Club). You walked past stylists from Changes by Linda as they braided hair in the wind or saw the beautiful antiques from the East Millstone Antiques & Cafe. To the left were all NJ artists displaying and selling their original works of art including students from Rutgers Preparatory School who sold their photography and donated the proceeds back to the Food Bank!
As you were walking down Market Street you heard a variety of different music – all amazing! Bob Mettler and John Loos both gave informational talks on the history of the Canal and the eco-tourism that East Millstone has to offer.
Perhaps you heard screams coming from the Children’s Area. Tons of children so excited to play old-fashioned carnival games, decorate pumpkins and bring out their own budding artist talents as they created their own arts and crafts. Point Community Church offered the kids cotton candy, just what they needed to get them into the bounce house. Once again, soldiers from the NJ Army National Guard were on hand helping young and old to climb the rock wall. All of this took place on the beautiful banks of the Delaware & Raritan Canal.
As you ventured further down Market Street many bands were performing on the Main Stage. Just past the stage were some nonprofits, including the Food Bank. You were drawn to the delicious smells of food coming from the food trucks and the Sunrise Deli. As you enjoyed your lunch (or dinner) you listened to individual musicians serenade you.
All in all, CanalFest 2014 was a huge success. If you went to CanalFest, you were one of 6000 people! The event continues to grow every year always improving on itself. CanalFest has always been free but this year we asked for $5 donations to help us feed those in need. Your donations helped us raise $6000! What a great day.
Planning is already underway for next year’s CanalFest on October 17th, 2015. So SAVE THE DATE.
More details can be found on our Canal Fest event page. Feel free to cemail DandRCanalfest@gmail.com if you have any questions. You can also check out the CanalFest Facebook page to see what’s happening!
10.19 CROP Walk for Hunger
Join Team Franklin Township Food Bank on Sunday, October 19th for the CROP Walk for Hunger. You can register to walk 10k or the Mini-Walk (2 miles). Registration begins at 1:30PM and the walk starts at 2:00PM at Somerset Presbyterian Church, 100 JFK Boulevard, Somerset, NJ 08873.
Proceeds from this event go to stamp out hunger globally and to feed those in need in Franklin Township.
10.10 & 10.12 Open House
You’ve been donating to us or attending our events, but have you ever been to the Food Bank?
In October we held two open houses to show off our newest renovation to our client service area including our new sliding door to facilitate shopping carts. We are constantly working on ways to improve how we deliver services and streamline our operations.
If you are interested in touring the Food Bank, please email Nancy LaCorte at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 732.246.0009.
09.28 3rd Annual Softball Tournament
The 3rd Annual Softball Tournament was held on Sunday, September 28th at Inman Park. This year was a little we included more teams.
Playing on Upper Inman was Parks & Recreation’s Adult Softball League’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams – CanalWalk, Resta’s Car Care & Auto Rental, and The A Team versus Team Stop & Shop which was a compilation of Franklin Township’s Board of Education staff, members of Middlebush Volunteer Fire Department, and municipal employees. The score was 9:6 with the Adult Softball Teams winning.
Playing on Lower Inman was the 1st place team, Piazza Orsillo versus the Franklin Township PBA (the winners of the coveted trophy for the past 2 years). The PBA tried their best but they also had work to do and were missing their best players. Piazza Orsillo won that game with a score of 18:11.
Everyone came together for hamburgers, hot dogs, soda, chips … all donated by Stop & Shop and Italian Ice’s donated by Ralph’s Italian Ices. After a short break and discussing that fly ball that got away, the championship game was underway. It was a Park’s & Rec showdown with Piazza Orsillo declaring victory over CanalWalk, Resta’s Car Care & Auto Rental, and The A Teamwith a score of 14 to 4.
Assisting with the event were Franklin High School’s Junior ROTC program who served food, assisted the teams, collected donations, and cleaned up. Approximately 20 cadets volunteered their time.
The event raised over $900! In the words of Yogi Berra, “It ain’t like football. You can’t make up no trick plays.”
Thanks to everyone who came to watch; Franklin High School’s Junior ROTC cadets; Parks & Rec’s Sue Van Aiken who herself played; Bob LaCorte and Phil Kramer for setting it up; our players; Ralph’s Italian Ices; the Franklin Township PBA for their grill and all of the cooking; and especially Stop & Shop for providing all of the food.
We’ll see you at CanalFest on Saturday, October 18th when the coveted trophy is awarded!
PS. Pictures will follow
09.14 Hot Dog Sunday Raised Over $1000
Robert Knoke, Jr., owner of the Corner Cafe & Grill stands in front of his grill every day and prepares delicious food for his patrons. On Sunday, the 14th however, he was a grilling machine as he took his place in front of the PBA grill for Hot Dog Sunday.
Hundreds of people came for hot dogs and burgers and stayed for the conversation at the Corner Cafe & Grill located at the intersection of DeMott Lane & Amwell Road. Kids enjoyed shooting hoops in the basketball net donated by Stop & Shop.
Stop & Shop of Franklin Park
Ralph’s Italian Ices
Corner Cafe & Grill
Frank Hasner, Executive Director of the Food Bank presents a check to the Detective Ken Daley of the Franklin Township PBA, Local 154 for their half of the $1048 raised at Hot Dog Sunday.