There is no question about it – the holiday season is going to look quite different this year. Not only are we in the midst of a global pandemic, but many of us have been struggling to stay financially during these strange and tumultuous times. Many small businesses have had a difficult time staying afloat, and some have had to shut their doors altogether. While families do what they can to participate in a traditional Thanksgiving feast, simply putting food on the table often proves to be difficult. At Princeton Detox and Recovery Center, we hope that donating food to local charities will help less fortunate members of society so that they can enjoy the holiday season the way we all deserve to.

Join us at Princeton Detox and Recovery Center this year for our annual Thanksgiving food drive, and donate canned goods or other non-perishable items to a local charity. Every year our employees and the staff members work together to gather as much food as possible before hand delivering it to a local charity in the Princeton, New Jersey area. We believe in giving back to our community in any and every way possible. We also know that this holiday season is going to look quite different for many, and those in need require compassion and community assistance more than ever before. If you would like to learn more about our annual Thanksgiving food drive, feel free to give us a call at any point in time.

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The Need For Food In New Jersey

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that as of January 2019, roughly 8,862 New Jersey residents were experiencing homelessness on any given day. In addition to substance abuse and dependency, food need is one of the largest public health threats that residents of New Jersey face on a daily basis. Food insecurity exists in every single county throughout the United States, even in the most affluent parts of the country. Many families have no idea where their next meal will come from, and it is not uncommon for children to go to bed without any food in their stomach on a nightly basis. Sadly, many New Jersey residents face these problems. A recent article published by NJ Spotlight News found that roughly 12 percent of New Jerseyans go hungry – a shocking statistic from what is one of the wealthiest states in the nation. The article found that nearly 12 percent of all residents (including 17 percent of children) will go hungry, and that these stats have not improved over the course of the past several years. This equates to nearly 1 million New Jersey residents facing hunger every day, including nearly 300,000 children. The good news is that there is something the local community can do to help. Non-profit charities throughout New Jersey collect food to be distributed to families in need. These charities work together with the community to help battle food insecurity, providing individuals and families with the sustenance and resources they need to effectively work towards getting back on their feet.

This holiday season, what we all really need and desire is some semblance of normalcy. Donating to local food banks helps families obtain the sense of normalcy and enjoy Thanksgiving together, the way they were intended to.

items we need thanksgiving food drive

Substance Abuse and Homelessness

At Princeton Detox and Recovery Center we believe very strongly in supporting this cause, seeing as there is a very clear-cut correlation between drug and alcohol addiction and food need. Men and women who are struggling to support their families face a unique set of stressors, stressors that often lead to substance use. These stressors have been immensely exaggerated over the course of the past several months; it is now more difficult than ever before to maintain job security while actively supporting a family. Even those who are only responsible for themselves are having a difficult time making ends meet.

Homelessness, food need and substance abuse and dependency are also all closely interlinked. The National Coalition for the Homeless published an article explaining the prevalence of substance abuse among members of the homeless community. This article shows that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that roughly 38 percent of homeless men and women were dependent on alcohol and 26 percent of the homeless population abused other chemical substances. Substance abuse leads to a lack of nutritional intake, which in turn leads to a steep and rapid decline in physical health. Addiction is both a cause and result of homelessness. By donating to local charities, not only are we doing our part to help the community at large, but we are inadvertently showing those who struggle with substance abuse and homelessness that there is help available and that recovery is possible.

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Princeton, New Jersey Food Banks

Below you can find local Princeton, New Jersey charities that we work closely with every year around this time. Feel free to visit the links included below for more information on each individual charity, or call Princeton Detox and Recovery Center for additional resources and information.

New Beginnings
69 Bunker Hill RD
Lawrence, New Jersey 08648

New Beginnings is a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to serving and supporting the local community. The organization was developed in order to help homeless and low-income individuals and families throughout Lawrence, New Jersey and all surrounding areas. Not only is this organization currently accepting food items, but they also hand out vouchers to homeless and low income families for clothing, household items, counseling and workshops.

New Beginnings offers pickup, and is currently in need of holiday-related donations. While this charity cannot currently accept any more turkeys, they can accept coupons or gift cards for turkeys and other Thanksgiving-related goods. Some examples of other items needed include toiletry items, women’s products, children’s diapers, baby food and formula, laundry detergent and dryer sheets, backpacks and reusable bags, blankets, bedding, sleeping bags, dog and cat food, garbage bags and Rubbermaid containers. If you would like to make a donation or volunteer to help with the Thanksgiving food drive visit the link below.

Mercer Street Friends
824 Silvia Street
Ewing, New Jersey 08628

Mercer Street Friends is dedicated to empowering families and communities and honoring the equality of all people as they strive for a just and peaceful society for all. This nonsectarian 501c3 organization addresses the issue of poverty by providing a range of integrated services geared towards building community, nurturing independence and offering resources for local children, families and communities.

While Mercer Street Friends only accepts Thanksgiving donations through November 6th, they resume donation on November 30th for Christmas. Those who donate will need to drop off canned goods and non-perishable items directly to the location, there is no pickup service available. For more information on Mercer Street Friends and to figure out what to donate and exactly where to donate visit the link below.

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    Princeton Detox and Recovery Center

    At Princeton Detox and Recovery Center we are dedicated to helping community members overcome substance abuse while continuously giving back to the community at large in any way we possibly can. We encourage all of our employees and staff members to participate in the Thanksgiving food drive for a number of reasons. Not only are substance abuse, homelessness and food need very closely interlinked, but making a habit of volunteering and giving back works to bolster gratitude and facilitate comprehensive healing. For more information on our annual food drive or for more information on our comprehensive and highly individualized program of addiction recovery feel free to reach out at any point in time. Our treatment advisors are standing by 24/7 to answer any additional questions you may have.

    Amanda Hilzer

    Clinically reviewed for accuracy by our Executive Director:

    Amanda Hilzer M.Ed, CAADC, IADAC, ICCS, LCADC, CCS

    Amanda graduated from Lehigh University with both an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Education degree in Counseling Psychology and has worked in the field of substance use disorder treatment and mental health treatment as a counselor and as a clinical manager for over 14 years.