Newtown Quaker Kids Raise $3,300 at Lasagna Dinner for Trenton Pre-School Program

For the ninth time, the annual designated charity for the young Quakers was Mercer Street Friends Summer Pre-School Program in Trenton, NJ.

The Quaker Kids of Newtown Quaker Meeting have done it again! At the first in-person dinner at the historic Quaker Meetinghouse since the start of the COVID pandemic two years ago, the Quaker Kids attracted an enthusiastic crowd who contributed over $3,300 to their designated charity!

For the ninth time, the annual designated charity for the young Quakers was the Mercer Street Friends Summer Pre-School Program in Trenton, NJ, a “a Quaker-affiliated, nonsectarian organization focused on hunger, poverty and access to educational opportunities.”

Newtown Meeting Quaker Kids have now raised and distributed to charities of their choice more than $37,300 over the past fourteen years by serving simple meals for voluntary donations.

In lieu of prices for servings of lasagna, purchasers were asked to make donations at the door. Desserts were priced at $1 apiece, though many diners contributed much more to support the young people and their charity. 

Twenty adults of the Newtown Friends Meeting community helped them out by contributing fourteen different kinds of meat and vegetarian lasagna, including sweet turkey, Italian sausage, beef, lasagna Bolognese, mushroom pesto, black bean, pierogi vegetarian, and eggplant parmesan. There were also fourteen different kinds of desserts including cherry pie, pecan pie, carrot cake, gooey oat bars, three kinds of brownies, and lemon pound cake.

Lisa Li of West Windsor, NJ, head of the children’s Lasagna Dinner Committee, said, “The young people of our Meeting are terrific! They worked hard collecting funds and serving food to a crowd of people happy to have dinner with their friends in person after two years of the pandemic.”

Lisa Li was assisted by Cynthia Vandenberg of Trenton, NJ who managed the kitchen and was assisted by ten children and teens serving patrons. 

Previous recipients of the funds raised at charitable events by the Newtown Quaker young people have been: Habitat for Humanity, Syrian refugee relief via the Shelterbox; US hurricane relief via the All Hands Volunteers; Valley Youth House’s Synergy Project for homeless youth in Bucks County and Allentown; Haiti Relief; The School for Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA), the first boarding school for girls in Afghanistan; Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank; Mercer Street Friends Center in Trenton. NJ; Penndel Food Pantry; Save Darfur; and Heifer International. 

Newtown Friends Meeting, co-founded by the Quaker artist and minister, Edward Hicks, in 1815, holds Zoom services every First Day (Sunday), with classes for children and adults are at 9:45 a.m. and Meeting for Worship at 11:00 a.m.

Norval ReeceCommunity Contributor

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