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Fighting hunger with ‘Mockingjay’ food drive

View this story in Jewish Community Voice

By Samantha Waldman

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, South Jersey Region held our annual canned food drive for the final installment of the Hunger Games franchise as part of the international order’s efforts to fight hunger. Each year that a new movie for the Hunger Games has been released, BBYO regions across the country have been given the privilege of premiering the movies early to raise awareness of the numerous ways hunger and poverty affect our world. This year, teens and adults from all over South Jersey joined together at the AMC Marlton 8 to watch “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2.” Those in attendance came from as far as Princeton to partake in the canned food drive.

Once both theaters were filled, various members of the Regional Board shared important statistics about hunger in the U.S. today. The event served to help those in attendance understand both the effect of hunger in our society and how they can support those who are hungry.

“The movie was an unbelievably fun way to get kids from around the area to hang out…and give back to our community in unprecedented ways,” said Regional Vice President of Community Service and Social Action Josh Chazin. He and his BBG counterpart, Sam Waldman, as well as the rest of Regional Board took charge of the can collection and planning of the event.

One of the primary goals of BBYO as a whole is the Jewish value of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, which is why we pursue as many social action and community service opportunities as we can. “The can tribute was really nice [because it allowed] us to give back to those in need,” said Anna Fleisher of Ohev BBG, one of the more than 200 attendees.

The event also connected to the regional StandUp cause— poverty. StandUp is a BBYO initiative that allows the teens of BBYO to choose a cause they are passionate and about and perform service, advocate and raise money for ( philanthropy). This year, SJR has chosen poverty as their cause, making the Mockingjay premiere the perfect opportunity to call attention to the regional StandUp cause. The goal of StandUp is not only to raise awareness, but also to take actual action to affect positive change in the community, which SJR was able to do by requesting a minimum of two canned food items from each participant. Many participants brought far beyond the required two cans, resulting in a grand total of approximately 600 cans.

After the movie, all of the canned food items were given to the Jewish Family and Children’s Service (JFCS) of Southern New Jersey. From there, these cans were donated to The Betsy and Peter Fischer Food Pantries in order to give food to those who need it. Overall the event was a success, which allowed South Jersey Region to positively influence our community. .

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