FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 24, 2014


Joins Volunteers to Distribute Thanksgiving Dinners to Families

FREEHOLD, N.J. – As part of the Christie Administration’s fourth annual "Season of Service," New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Deputy Commissioner Melissa Orsen spent the morning distributing full Thanksgiving Dinners to Monmouth County families at the Freehold Open Door Food Pantry.

"We are proud of the great work the many service groups in our communities throughout our state, such as the Freehold Open Door Food Pantry perform throughout the year to benefit those less fortunate," said Deputy Commissioner Orsen as full Thanksgiving Dinners, including a turkey, apple or pumpkin pie, and vegetables among other food items appropriate for the Thanksgiving holiday were distributed to families.

"I was very glad to be able to lend a hand and I urge others to join the Season of Service in helping those in need," said Deputy Commissioner Orsen, who volunteered today as part of Season of Service activities. Christie Administration officials will volunteer their time and highlight service opportunities around the state as part of the fourth annual "Season of Service." Continuing the success of previous service initiatives, this year’s November and December activities will continue to serve New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents with a particular focus in December on drug addiction treatment and recovery.

The "Season of Service" initiative was started to encourage volunteering, highlight service opportunities in the state, and call attention to those New Jerseyans who are already volunteering in their communities. It started the day before Thanksgiving 2011 when Governor Christie, First Lady Mary Pat Christie and three of their four children volunteered at the Ladle of Love soup kitchen at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Burlington City. Since then members of the Governor’s cabinet have volunteered their time and will continue to do so throughout the month of December.

Freehold Area Open Door, Inc. (Open Door) is a non-profit 501(c3) interfaith agency that provides emergency food, emergency funding, mentoring and scholarships to those in need from the Freehold area.

To volunteer with Freehold Area Open Door or to learn more about the organization, visit or call (732) 780-1089 for more information.