Public Info

Union County “Wraps Up” 2018 with Employee and Community Holiday Giving Drive

Union County, NJ – The new Union County Office of Community Engagement and Diversity finished its first year of activity with two Holiday Giving drives that collected more than 500 toys for children across Union County, and more than 1,000 pounds of food for the Community Foodbank of New Jersey.

“We launched the new Office of Community Engagement and Diversity this year, to increase our engagement with local non-profit and volunteer organizations, and also to support new opportunities for our employees and residents to join together and collectively make a difference for those in need,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “The office’s first year of coordinating the Holiday Giving toy and food drives was a success, and I would like to thank all of those who contributed to these efforts.”

The Office of Community Engagement and Diversity works with other agencies to identify volunteer opportunities, coordinate events, and create a network of volunteer organizations to build relationships with the County’s different communities. It is the heart of Chairman Granados’s 2018 “Moving Union County Forward” initiative for Union County, aimed at providing opportunities for individual empowerment and community service.

The toy drive continues a Union County tradition. In this year’s effort, Union County employees joined with residents and community partners to donate more than 500 toys. Some of the toys were delivered by County personnel to more than 120 families. Others were donated to the Coalition to House the Homeless, Children’s Specialized Hospital, the YWCA and other community partners for distribution to additional children.

The food drive was the first such effort undertaken as a Union County initiative. The Office of Community Engagement and Diversity partnered with the grassroots organization Foodstock in a broader effort to support the Community FoodBank of New Jersey during the holiday season.

The 1,000-pound donation from Union County employees was part of a total of 100,000 pounds of food donated to the Community FoodBank under the umbrella of the Foodstock holiday food drive.

For more information about the Office of Community Engagement and Diversity contact Nathalie Hernandez, Coordinator, at 908-527-4880 or

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Photo caption: Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholders Angel G. Estrada, Christopher Hudak, Rebecca Williams, Bruce H. Bergen and Alexander Mirabella joined Union County Deputy County Manager Amy Wagner, Union County Office of Community Engagement & Diversity Coordinator Nathalie Hernandez and Division of Strategic Planning and Intergovernmental Relations Division Director Phil Kandl in reviewing the toys donated by Union County employees and residents with the help of outside organizations during this year’s toy drive. Toys were collected to provide holiday cheer to families across Union County. For the food drive, Union County employees donated over 1,000 pounds of food to the Community Food Bank of Hillside NJ. This year’s Union County Holiday Giving Drives were organized by the Union County Office of Community Engagement & Diversity. (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)

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