For his birthday every year, Jersey Shore teen seeks food donations to help needy
Instead of receiving presents for his 17th birthday this month, Xander Bassone of Manasquan is asking for donations to benefit the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Bassone has been selflessly spending all his birthdays in the local Acme Parking lot to hold a food drive since his Boy Scout days when he turned 11.
It was during that food drive that Bassone recalled being approached by Adam Lowy of Lowy's Moving Service and Move for Hunger. The nonprofit organization in Asbury Park works with moving companies nationwide and Canada to collect food from people who are moving to new homes.
"We started just filling my mom's truck at my birthday party, and then I remembered that I had his card, so I called him, and he donated a truck and the Acme in Manasquan let us use their parking lot, and it just got bigger and bigger," said Bassone.
Friends are eager to show up for Bassone's Fill-A-Truck food drive Birthday Bash.
"They help me pass out flyers around town every year. They come and spend the whole day at the Acme. They help make boxes, pack of food, they come and weigh it in at the FoodBank when we go," Bassone said.
Thanks to Bassone's efforts and help from his friends and Move for Hunger, they've collected a total of 25,000 pounds of food since the drive started six years ago.
"It's nice to know that I'm helping a lot of other people," Bassone said. He acknowledged, "I'm very fortunate to have a steady house that I've lived in for ten years, go to Manasquan High School, and always know when my next meal is."
Each pound of food collected can feed an entire family, according to Bassone.
His 17th Birthday Bash takes place 8 a.m. to 4. p.m. Dec. 11 in the Acme parking lot, 71 Taylor Ave., Manasquan.
Contact reporter Dianne DeOliveira at Dianne.DeOliveira@townsquaremedia.com.