Newark Toyota World collects donations for the Newark Area Welfare Committee outside the Suburban Plaza Acme.

With the holiday season approaching, Newarkers have several opportunities to assist those in need of a helping hand.

The city of Newark will host three collection drives at city hall, 220 S. Main St., spokeswoman Jayme Gravell said.

The city will collect non-perishable food for the Food Bank of Delaware and the Newark Area Welfare Committee (NAWC). Any food is welcome, but the most sought-after items include pasta, pasta sauce, rice, stuffing, peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, cereal bars, pancake mix, dessert mix, canned goods and condiments.

Meanwhile, warm winter clothing such as coats, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, socks and boots will be donated to the Sunday Breakfast Mission.

The Newark Police Department is also collecting unwrapped toys for children up to age 12 as part of the United States Marine Corps Reserve’s nationwide Toys for Tots program.

As is tradition, Santa Claus – with help from NPD officers and firefighters from Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder Company – will deliver the toys to kids at the Newark Housing Authority and various neighborhoods shortly before Christmas.

Collection bins for all three drives will be available at city hall until Dec. 19. Newarkers can also drop off donations at the Winterfest celebration on the Academy Lawn on Dec. 6.

Residents can also support NAWC through Newark Toyota World’s “Fill the Tundra” fundraiser.

The dealership has already collected enough non-perishable food to fill four pickup trucks and is aiming to reach eight, spokesman Brian Tharan said. It has held collection events at the Suburban Plaza Acme, and food or cash can be dropped off at the company’s Cleveland Avenue and Marrows Road locations.

Donors will receive a coupon for a free car wash.

NAWC will use the donations to distribute more than 300 food boxes to local families shortly before Christmas. The organization needs volunteers to help pack the boxes Dec. 19-21. For more information, visit

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