Raritan Valley Community College’s Rotaract Club continued their service to the food packaging event Cooking for SHIP for the fifth year this summer.
Rotaract and the Rotary Club of Branchburg gathered at the North Branch Reform Church in Bridgewater and packaged about 50 lunch bags and cooked three courses of meals.
SHIP (Samaritan Homeless Interim Program) is “a faith based, interfaith and community funded, assisted and supported, grassroots organization,” according to their website. It grants shelter, counseling and food to people of difficult backgrounds.
Cooking for SHIP takes place three times every year, feeding about 150 people each time.
"It feels nice to know you are helping people and bonding with the [Rotaract] club members at the same time," said Amanda Rose, President of RVCC’s Rotaract Club.
Michael Cohen, Branchburg Rotary President, said the roots of Cooking for SHIP started 10 years ago when the Rotary Club of Branchburg started collecting peanut butter and jelly donations for homeless people.
At a Rotary meeting soon after, one member suggested they could do more. After brainstorming, the members decided to cook meals and donate to SHIP. One member, a minister at the North Branch Reform Church, offered the church's kitchen to do the work.
The Rotary Club of Branchburg gives up one monthly meeting breakfast to fund Cooking for SHIP.