Public Info

Union County Schools Awarded for “Kans 4 Kids” Community Service Project Donating 6,000 Pounds of Food

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools received top honors for its participation in Kans 4 Kids, a countywide civic engagement campaign designed and carried out by students in the Freeholder Board’s UC-STEP youth leadership program.

Receiving honorable mentions in the friendly competition were Union County TEAMS Charter School, Roselle Park High School, Linden High School and Governor Livingston High School.

“I would like to thank UC-STEP students, and our sponsors and supporters, for bringing the whole Union County community together in support of a good cause,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “Donations to our local food pantries are especially important heading into the summer, when children and families in need have more difficulty accessing school meals and other resources.”

UC-STEP is a unique youth development program that brings together high school students from different parts of Union County. The program launched as an initiative under Freeholder Linda Carter when she served as Chairman in 2013.

“Congratulations to this year’s UC-STEP awardees and many thanks to all of our participants for a job well done,” said Freeholder Carter. “We are already looking forward to another exciting program next year.”

UC-STEP provides students with the opportunity to engage the whole community in a county-wide service project. UC-STEP participants design the projects themselves, and carry them out with the support of the Freeholder Board and local sponsors.

The Kans for Kids community service campaign was sponsored by Sysco and ShopRite and supported by The Community FoodBank of New Jersey with the Freeholder Board.

More than 100 students from 14 high schools participated in Kans 4 Kids, which included a food drive, a virtual food drive and a “can-struction” project composed of more than 3,500 cans.

By the conclusion of the campaign, the Kans 4 Kids campaign collected 6,000 pounds of food for donation to the Community FoodBank.

For its work in collecting the most donations, Union County Vocational-Technical Schools received a Start Now grant of $1000.00.  The four runners-up each received a grant of $250.00.

Also participating in the program were David Brearley Middle/High School, Arthur L. Johnson High School, Cranford High School, John E. Dwyer Technology Academy, New Providence High School, Barack Obama Academy for Academic and Civic Development, Rahway High School and Jonathan Dayton High School.

To find out more about UC-STEP, and to view a stop-motion video of the “can-struction” project under way, visit

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Photo caption: Union County Freeholders Linda Carter and Alexander Mirabella present a resolution and a check to administrators Robert McCurley and Kevin Dougherty and students Grissy Sime, Hannah Seewald and Samantha Lotfy from Union County Vocational-Technical Schools (UCVTS) in Scotch Plains in honor of the school winning the 2017 Union County Student Training and Enrichment Program (UC STEP) challenge. UCVTS collected the most food donations during the “Kans 4 Kids” food drive under the annual UC STEP youth leadership program and won the $1,000 Start Now grant.  (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)

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