RBR food driveRBR sophomores Hannah Christensen, Devon Barnes, Billy Lynch and Kyra Soldo collect donations for this Wednesday’s Football Food Drive at the school’s home field.

By CASSANDRA DORN, Red Bank Regional HS

Many area residents fill their Thanksgiving with football, family and food.  Others, however, have a lot less on their plates.  Literally.

This Thanksgiving, fans enjoying the traditional Red Bank Regional-Long Branch football game can earn free admission while helping the needy in our area.  The RBR Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Red Bank Corps of the Salvation Army, is sponsoring a Football Food Drive on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27.  Fans can simply bring a non-perishable food item to the game and receive a ticket good for free admission.  Food will be delivered to the Salvation Army of Red Bank.

Cassandra Dorn, RBR English teacher and coordinator of the drive, says that the Football Food Drive is the first of many initiatives the group and the school are setting up to combat hunger in the area.  “Thanksgiving is a day to think about how lucky most of us are,” Dorn said.  “It’s also a great opportunity to share with those less fortunate.  It doesn’t take much to help  –  just a spare can of soup or a package of pasta can make a difference.  This can be a win-win situation for all involved.”

The Red Bank Regional-Long Branch game kicks off at 7 pm under the lights at the Red Bank Regional field and pits the RBR Bucs against the Green Wave of Long Branch.

The Red Bank Salvation Army reports that while donations are down this year, requests for assistance have increased about 30% since 2010.  The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties reports that from 2005 to 2009, the number of households receiving assistance jumped 84%.