AmeriCorps Service Project Hosts January Food Drive to Support Norwescap Food Bank  

January 18, 2023 – Every year, Norwescap’s team of AmeriCorps service members selects a project to undertake in honor of the Martin Luther King Day of Service. This year, throughout the month of January, they are hosting a large-scale food drive across 4 of our New Jersey counties to help restock the shelves at our Food Bank on Broad Street in Phillipsburg.

Working on projects like these makes me feel like a part of something big, where I alone wouldn’t be able to create such impact… but with Norwescap and AmeriCorps – we can really help.”  Tamara Lopez, Americorps Member/Norwescap Engagement Partner

The thought of food pantries having bare shelves is difficult to grasp – yet many are struggling to keep enough food stocked to support the growing number of families relying on them. The need tends to increase in January, after the altruistic outpouring of donations between November and December.  

Our mission is to build a community that transforms poverty into opportunity, which includes recognizing the link to hunger and helping individuals who are struggling with their most immediate needs.  

After giving so much before the holidays, January arrives, and many of us go into “hibernation” mode as the weather grows colder. Food donations tend to slow down after the new year, but hunger doesn’t end. This food drive, at such an opportune time, provides the extra assistance needed during the lean months of winter.  

Poverty and food insecurity go hand-in-hand.– Heather Thompson, Norwescap CDO

Issuing a call-to-action, our CEO Mark Valli notes that, “Food insecurity is a national problem. It’s worse now than it’s been in a long time. Our Food Bank distributed 1.5 million meals last year, and we are expanding our warehouse to accommodate a growing need.” 
Donations to the Food Drive will be accepted through January 31, with multiple drop off sites in Warren, Hunterdon, Sussex and Somerset counties. Call Jessica Irish, AmeriCorps Program Manager at (908) 454-7000 x 3032, for more information. 

At the close of January, AmeriCorps members will gather donations from the drop-off sites and deliver them to our Food Bank to be sorted and distributed to over 100 partners throughout our service area for families in need this winter.  

The partnership between Norwescap and AmeriCorps has been instrumental in supporting our mission and creating greater impact in our communities. Jessica Irish, the program’s manager, explains, “Norwescap working with the AmeriCorps program has allowed us to dramatically expand our services in the areas of career readiness, job training, financial empowerment, and working one-on-one with program participants. Just as important, they have energized our volunteer efforts and helped create exciting new initiatives on important days like the Martin Luther King Day of Service. We think of AmeriCorps as transformative – both for the service members spending a year or two with us, and for Norwescap.”  

AmeriCorps is an independent agency of the United States government that engages more than five million Americans in service through a variety of stipend volunteer work programs. For decades, AmeriCorps has worked to make service to others an indispensable part of the American experience. They connect individuals and organizations to help communities tackle their toughest challenges. If you’re interested in learning more about Norwescap and AmeriCorps, visit our AmeriCorps & AmeriCorps VISTA webpage, or reach out to the AmeriCorps Program Manager, Jessica Irish, at  

by Dawn Hartfelder – updated 1/20/2023