As Mayor Frank Sippel was sworn into office this past January he shared that “the measure of a great township is how it provides for and how it treats the least among us.” Unbeknownst to him at the time, Council’s need to stay true to this message would become critical as the economic challenges presented by COVID-19 impacted residents of Lower Township. Council responded with a series of initiatives to help those residents who have fallen on hard times.
Last week, Lower Township Council organized a drive-thru food drive to stock the four food pantries of Lower Township. “The food drive was again a tremendous success because of the outpouring of support from our community,” said Mayor Frank Sippel. “I would like to especially thank the Greater Elks of Cape May for their monetary donations totaling $8,500. I am floored by their generosity and willingness to give back to the Lower Township community.”
These donations were in addition to the truck loads of food that were donated by our residents. “The overwhelming response by our residents today was incredible; it gives me so much pride to be part of Lower Township,” said Deputy Mayor Dave Perry. This is the second food drive that Council organized this year. In May, facing a 200% increase in the number of families needing the help of our local food pantries and the pantries struggling to keep up, Council organized a food drive that provided $3,000 in monetary donations and food donations that lasted the pantries through the summer.
In addition to these food drives, Council also donated portions of their salaries to help pay the rent of residents who needed assistance during the pandemic. One of the residents who Council helped was a single mom named Meghan, who shared that she was raising two children on her own and was out-of-work due to the pandemic. She further shared that in these times she always was able to count on her mother to help, but that her mother had passed-away the month prior and now was overcome by her current circumstances. “As we received letters from residents, like Meghan, who needed our help, it was heartbreaking to hear their struggles and to personalize what was happening,” said Sippel. He continued, “I am proud of Council, that each of them was so willing to give a part of their salaries to help these residents. I see that as our primary role – to care for and help those we serve”
Ordered and paid for by Friends of Sippel, Perry and Coombs P.O. Box 231 Villas, NJ 08251.