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The Journal magazines are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Dec 08, 2020

Dermer Dreams Food Drive Benefits Compañeros de Comida

By Lori Draz

Photos courtesy of Jenn Morris Photography

On Nov. 15, Fair Haven looked like a field of sunflowers as residents placed their bright yellow Dermer Dreams food donation bags on their front porches. Dermer Dreams is a charity food drive that works to replenish local food banks for the winter months. Residents were issued their yellow bags with a list of needed items. They then filled bags and placed them on their porch to be picked up by teams of students. This year, Dermer Dreams collected more than 100,000 pounds of food in one weekend. The organization selects several food insecurity charities to share the donations with, and this year, Compañeros de Comida was chosen as one of the local programs to receive 15,000 pounds of food.

Photos courtesy of Jenn Morris Photography

Readers may remember that Compañeros de Comida, a nonprofit based in Fair Haven, was founded by former Teen Scene author Charlotte Stant. The organization provides direct food relief to Spanish-speaking families in Red Bank. They group an incredible milestone this Thanksgiving by serving more than 90,000 meals, thanks to Dermer Dreams, The Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative, The Monmouth County Young Democrats, Tavolo Pronto and Linares Grocery as well a large monetary donation from Roseann and Patrick McGeehin.

Compañeros de Comida provided 60 families with a large Thanksgiving meal as well as three additional weeks’ worth of food. Stant was so grateful for the extraordinary donation, saying, “It was important to me, the Board of Directors and our volunteers to give our families a Thanksgiving meal that respects and honors their cultural heritage. For instance, we found out that chicken is preferred to turkey both for taste and the fact that some families do not have a stove that can fit a turkey. Tavolo Pronto is making traditional Mexican sopa, and our volunteers donated bags of fruit which were requested instead of pies. Before the Dermer Dreams weekend, I was worried that we wouldn’t have enough. Now we have a wonderful surplus that will allow us to feed even more families.”

Stant invites you to follow her and the Compañeros de Comida volunteers on their Instagram page @CompanerosDeComida for news about upcoming food drives and their “adopt a family” holiday initiative, or to donate directly through Venmo @Companeros-deComida.

Dermer Dreams’ next food drive is slated for Saturday, April 10, 2021.