Morris County Sheriff James Gannon and Deputy Director Deborah Smith of the Morris County Board of Commissioners were recruited this week by students of the Randolph High School Culinary Arts Department to deliver fresh-made bread to first responders who aided and protected Morris County residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The students made 150 bread loaves, a portion of which Sheriff Gannon delivered to members of his staff while Commissioner Smith delivered about 20 loaves to emergency personnel and health-care providers at the Morris County COVID-19 Regional Vaccination Center in Rockaway Township.
“We are handing out the bread as a thank you to the first responders for all the work they did during the pandemic, and the work they continue to do," Chef Thomas J. Povinelli, the Culinary Arts Instructor at Randolph High School, said.
"We are sharing loaves with the Randolph Police Department, Fire Department and First Aid Squad. We also want to share it with the Sheriff’s Office and Morris County.”
The bread was made and baked a couple of weeks ago, and then blast-frozen to preserve it until Povinelli, a volunteer firefighter, could connect with the various first responder agencies to arrange the donations.
Sheriff Gannon and Commissioner Smith met yesterday afternoon with the Randolph students, Povinelli and Instructor Karen GaNung in their classroom, where they loaded up some of the bread before making their deliveries.
Povinelli explained that the materials for making the bread were provided by King Arthur Flour through a grant program called “Learn, Bake, Share.”
“I want to thank all of you on behalf of Morris County for your donation and your hard work. Every one of these loaves of bread are beautiful and appreciated," Commissioner Smith said. "They go to the hearts of everyone.”
“Acts of kindness like this go a long way,” Sheriff Gannon said. “Your donation and your work here really means something. God bless each and every one of you for this, and never lose that sense of what you have done here today because you should carry it with you. These acts of kindness really make a difference.”
As Commissioner Smith delivered about 20 loaves of bread to the vaccination center, she was greeted by Scott DiGiralomo, Director, Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety, and several individuals representing the agencies working at the center.
Among them were Jordan Poskitt of FEMA, Cindy Bella of Morris County Division of Public Health, Detective Gregory Lukaszyk of the Morris County Sheriff's Office and Second Lt. Dan Corey of the New Jersey Army National Guard.
The vaccination center is a joint operation of Morris County and Atlantic Health System and opened on January 8.
The Randolph culinary program provides classes for all high school levels and collaborates with elementary and special needs programs throughout each school year. The students often donate the food they prepare to area food banks, but the pandemic forced a temporary cessation of those donations.