North Bergen elected officials, police officers team up with ShopRite to fight hunger

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State Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, along with at least half a dozen local police officers, participated in “ShopRite Partners In Caring” program to fight hunger yesterday.

Dubbed “Help Bag Hunger,” the mayor and members of law enforcement helped customers bag their groceries for one hour at the ShopRite just off John F. Kennedy Boulevard near 32nd Street, just before the entrance to the Route 495 expressway.

Since the inception of the ShopRite Partners In Caring program in 1993, more than $33 million has been donated to 1,700 hunger relief agencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

In an interview, Sacco paid tribute to ShopRite’s long-standing efforts to help Hudson County residents in dire need to stave off hunger, as well as the Inserra Family that owns the 32nd Street ShopRite.

“This is an annual event. The Inserra Brothers who own this ShopRite are extremely generous and they’ve been very helpful to the town. During the National Night Out Against Crime event, they gave out $700 dollar gift certificates to residents,” he began.

“What they’re doing now is helping people who have needs, supplying food pantries and other people who otherwise would go hungry. And this is why we are taking part in this with them because they just have been extremely good to the people in town and the area.”

It was interesting to see some of the customers’ expressions once they saw that NBPD officers would be bagging their groceries.

Additionally, we asked North Bergen Police Chief Robert Dowd for his reaction, and he emphasized that events such as the “Help Bag Hunger” is just one example of how community policing fosters stronger relationships with residents to deter crime.

“I hope they’ve been all positive. We have a really intelligent group here, and they’re here for the purpose of community policing, and community policing is such a wide concept but in the end, it’s just us being a member of the community,” said Dowd.

“I used to work the security here, but we are part of this community, and our personnel try to go out of their way to make people feel comfortable because it’s all about trusting the police. We want to be as reflective of this community as we can because that’s really the true way of suppressing crime and keeping order.”

We also interviewed store manager, Doug McDaniell, about how the annual event has helped Hudson County residents in need.

“It’s gotta be thousands of people, at least, because we have hundreds of stores across the whole tri-state area and just about every store participates in this, so each store contributes to local pantries. It has touched [many people] across the area,” said McDaniell.

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