This past Saturday a large number of the local Drivin’ News ( community gathered at Paul’s Motors in Hawthorne, NJ for Carnucopia II. Many brought their favorite classic car, the one they love to drive and that others love to see. They also brought a generous spirit intent on supporting the Tri-Boro Food Pantry’s efforts to meet the growing Covid driven need of individuals for food assistance.

Carnucopia II, Classic Car Food Drive

Tri-Boro Food Pantry Director Janelle Larghi accepting donations with Burton Hall from Drivin’ News

Thanksgiving weekend’s Carnucopia II represented the second effort this year by the Drivin’ News community of automotive enthusiasts to support the efforts of the Tri-Boro Food Pantry.

Tri-Boro Food Pantry Photo credit: Julia Chang

Pantry Director Janelle Larghi explains that since Covid came to town demand on the Pantry’s resources has increased five-fold. Janelle makes it clear that the Pantry couldn’t do it without everybody’s help. She says, “We really appreciate what the Drivin’ News folks have done.”

Larghi’s connection to the food pantry runs deep. Her grandfather co-founded it in the early 1980s. Larghi says, “the Tri-Boro Food Pantry’s mission calls for providing food to anyone in need who comes here for help. Plain and simple”

Serving primarily Bergen County, Tri-Boro Food Pantry clients  represent a large cross section of people including working class families, senior citizens, immigrant families and handicapped residents from local facilities.

Housed in the auditorium behind the Pascack Reformed Church in Park Ridge, the Tri-Boro Food Pantry describes itself as a place where hungry people are fed. From soup to cereal, eggs to milk, diapers to dish soap, this food pantry is committed to helping people live. Hunger isn’t something that only happens in other places. It happens here.

Packages readied for pick-up                    Photo credit: Burton Hall

An impressive operation to witness, Janelle, her husband Dave, and her small dedicated team of volunteers function with a seamless blend of wartime military logistical efficiency and a caring personal warmth expressed with an upbeat energy. Janelle seems to know everyone’s name. Her welcome never lacks a smile or a kind word. While assembling and distributing hundreds of parcels of food there is always time to stop and enjoy the signing voices of two recipients who always serenade the staff when making their pick-up.

Forced to operate at a level far beyond what was once normal, each day is a challenge for the Pantry. However, Janelle pointedly emphasizes that anyone who needs food assistance should come to the Pantry for help. She says, “That’s why we’re here.”

Photo credit: Ben Raser

Photo credit: Ben Raser

With no rain and temperatures in the 5Os, an eclectic and striking array of classic automobiles gathered at Paul’s Motors on Saturday afternoon November 28th. Spanning the gamut from muscle cars and European sports cars to RestoMods and pre-war sedans, the gathering served as a celebration of the automobile as both art and dynamic experience.

Amazingly 2020 marks Paul’s Motors 100th year in the automobile business. Starting in 1920, Paul’s Motors has built a reputation as a highly respected resource for classic cars and quality pre-owned cars especially pre-owned Volvos.

Great friends to the classic car community, owners Diane Korzinski and Paul Korzinski Jr. opened up Paul’s Motors to host Carnucopia II as well as personally providing assistance in soliciting donations. They could not have been more supportive.

Photo credit: Jason Raser

Photo credit: Ben Raser

It is the second time this year that the Drivin’ News community has stepped to the plate to help support the Tri-Boro Food Pantry. Coming from all walks of life, the interests and values of the participants clearly extend well beyond the throw of their headlights. They are happy to support the efforts of Janelle and the Tri-Boro Food Pantry volunteers who work so hard to help people in need during this difficult time. Carnucopia II participants collectively donated $1000 and a car load of food parcels.

There are more than enough “feel bad” stories coming at us each day like rocks at our windshield. The importance of calling attention to things that remind us of what “good” feels like cannot be overstated.

The tireless dedication of the Tri-Boro Food Pantry, Janelle Larghi, her volunteers and the community that supports them clearly represents just such a “feel good” story.