Newtown Quaker Kids raises $3,300 for preschool program

The Quaker Kids of Newtown Quaker Meeting have done it again. At the first in-person dinner at the historic Quaker Meetinghouse since the COVID pandemic began two years ago, the Quaker Kids drew a cheering crowd who donated more than $3,300 to their designated charity.

For the ninth time, the annual charity designated for young Quakers was the Mercer Street Friends summer preschool program in Trenton, NJ, “a non-sectarian Quaker-affiliated organization focused on hunger, poverty and access educational opportunities”.

Newtown Meeting Quaker Kids has now raised and distributed to charities of their choice over $37,300 over the past 14 years by serving simple meals for voluntary donations.

Instead of prizes for lasagna portions, shoppers were asked to donate at the door. Desserts were priced at $1 each, although many diners contributed significantly more to support the youth and their charity.

Twenty adults from the Newtown Friends Meeting community helped out by contributing 14 different types of meat and vegetarian lasagna, including mild turkey, Italian sausage, beef, lasagna bolognese, mushroom pesto, black beans , vegetarian pierogi and eggplant parmesan. There were also 14 different kinds of desserts, including cherry pie, pecan pie, carrot cake, gooey oatmeal bars, three kinds of brownies, and lemon pound cake.

Lisa Li of West Windsor, NJ, Chair of the Children’s Lasagna Dinner Committee, said, “The kids in our meeting are amazing! They have worked hard to raise funds and serve food to crowds of people happy to dine with their friends in person after two years of the pandemic.

Li was assisted by Cynthia Vandenberg of Trenton, NJ, who managed the kitchen and was assisted by 10 children and teens serving customers.

Previous recipients of funds raised at charity events by Newtown Quaker youth have been: Habitat for Humanity, helping Syrian refugees through Shelterbox; Hurricane relief in the United States through the All Hands Volunteers; Valley Youth House’s Synergy Project for homeless youth in Bucks County and Allentown; Relief in Haiti; The School for Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA), the first girls’ boarding school in Afghanistan; Layer Bank of Greater Philadelphia; the Mercer Street Friends Center in Trenton; Penndel pantry; Save Darfur; and Heifer International.