ShopRite of Medford gives back to Ronald McDonald House

Zallie’s Kitchen donated $280 worth of food.

Thanks to the generosity of ShopRite of Medford, members of the Medford Sunrise Rotary were able to provide a delicious hot meal to families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Camden. Zallie’s Kitchen, the catering department at ShopRite on Route 70, donated $280 worth of food, including ice tea, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, cornbread, desserts and mixed green salad with cranberries, feta and candied walnuts. ShopRite also provided the ingredients that Rotarian Marie Goodwin used to make her own chili — ground beef, canned tomatoes, peppers, onions and beans.

Several Rotary members traveled to the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey in Camden, which provides a home-away-from-home to families of seriously ill and traumatically injured children who are being treated at nearby hospitals in Camden and Philadelphia. Parents and family members are often exhausted and stressed out from their experiences dealing with seriously ill children, and the meals provided are so appreciated after a long, hard day.

“It’s always an eye-opening experience to visit the Ronald McDonald House and to meet the families staying there,” said Goodwin, who besides being a Rotarian, is the business administrator for the Medford Township School District. “On Sunday, I had the opportunity to meet little girls who are receiving treatments at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). “One little girl, Sophia, had such a great personality. She was running around just like any other toddler, except she had to use a little walker because her illness has affected her ear drums and she doesn’t have any balance. Her parents were so upbeat and positive!”

“I also met a beautiful little girl from China,” Goodwin continued. “She and her mom have been there for a month and a half. She, too, is receiving treatment from CHOP; she has a brain tumor behind her eye. We also met a family from South Carolina whose eight-month-old baby was born with a tumor.

“The families there are so grateful to us for providing them with dinner,” Goodwin added. “On the flip side, I am grateful to them for being able to share in this experience. It certainly gives you perspective on the important things in life.”

Rotarian Jim Robinson and his wife, Trish, also helped out recently at Ronald McDonald House, it’s something they’ve been doing for years. “Who really wants to drive to Camden on a wet, rainy and dreary Sunday evening?” Jim commented. “But when we arrived at the Ronald McDonald House, the families living there were anxiously awaiting their evening dinner. The food from ShopRite was delicious and enjoyed by all.”

Robinson, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty, said that after preparing and setting up the meal, the Rotarians joined the families for dinner. “There was a young couple from Brazil, the wife is eight months pregnant. Her unborn son has severe lung problems and will be operated on immediately after his birth via C-section. Another family from South Carolina is expecting their first child; a girl with a tumor on her coccyx bone which will be have to be removed immediately after birth.

“Listening to these families share their stories makes us all thankful that as members of Medford Sunrise Rotary, we can help in just a very small way,” Robinson said. “Even something as easy as driving to Camden on a rainy, dreary Sunday to serve them dinner. It’s a pleasure.”