Elks host Hop and Drop food drive to benefit St. Gregory’s

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PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN COYLE Members collected donations for St. Gregory’s Pantry on March 27 outside of the Elks Lodge at 820 Arnold Ave.

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — The Point Pleasant Elks’ first Hop and Drop Food Drive held March 27 was a huge success according to organizers, who said the community came out to  help St. Gregory’s Pantry.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Elks members collected food from participants’ cars, trucks and vans, loading their lodge with non-perishable foods to go to the St. Gregory’s Pantry Easter Distribution. 

Brian Coyle, activity chairman for Point Pleasant Elks, said the group collected over 2,500 pounds of food and around $500 in gift cards.

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“We had an overwhelming response from the community, which was awesome,” said Mr. Coyle.

He said beautiful weather helped with the cause, prompting many donors to come out and help the Elks. 

“It was just a really tremendous outpouring from the community. There are people who had whole trunks full and whole back seats full of stuff,” said Mr. Coyle. 

The Elks found that donors focused on what St. Gregory’s needed, donating non-perishable food items like mustard, ketchup, canned fruit, ground coffee and juice boxes for kids, as well as laundry detergent, tissues, dinner napkins, dish soap, shampoo and conditioner.

Following the drive on Monday, March 29 the group delivered all the donations to the pantry.

“We’ve partnered with St. Gregory’s in the past,” said Mr. Coyle. “We wanted to do something to help support their needs. They do so much for the community between Mary’s Table and St. Gregory’s Pantry.”

“We helped unload it and bring it in there,” said Mr. Coyle. “It went really well.”

After a long winter and a quiet year in general for the Elks, Mr. Coyle said the group is ready to gear up operations as much as they can. 

“We’re following what’s going on, what the governor allows,” said Mr. Coyle. “We really can’t have any inside events.”

The group is currently working on logistics on holding its annual fluke fishing tournament this summer following last year’s cancellation due to COVID.

“That was one of our biggest events, so we’re working on a way that we can still have that for the fishermen and maybe just kind of scale it down a little bit, not have the big barbeque,” said Mr. Coyle.

The Point Pleasant Elks are committed to serving members and the community of Point Pleasant, the South East District, state and national Elks programs. 

For more information, visit pointpleasantelks.org.

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