#b#Silver Award: Help for the Hungry#/b#

Simran Mahant completed her Girl Scout Silver Award with “Donations For Independence,” an event held Friday, June 27, at Morris Davison Park in Plainsboro. Her project addressed the issue of hunger in the summer.

“The Plainsboro Food Pantry provides food for about 30 to 40 families and 75 to 80 people,” says Mahant. “Most donations occur during the months of October through January, but donations dwindle during the summer months. We live in an affluent community; therefore it is easy for hunger to be invisible. However, as a community we can help to put an end to this.”

She worked with Maria Benerofe, the coordinator of the Plainsboro Food Pantry, to spread awareness of the pantry’s need for more food donations during the summer months and encourage donations of canned goods. They also offered games, face painting, and activities.

“I selected this project because not many are aware that there are people in their very own community who seek out help from the pantry and that the pantry is the main place they receive many of the items they need daily,” says Mahant.

The Plainsboro Food Pantry is located in the municipal building on the plaza level at 641 Plainsboro Road. Visit www.­plainsboronj.­com, or contact Benerofe at 609-799-0909, ext. 1712. or E-mail mbenerofe@plainsboronj.­com for information.

#b#Literacy Movement#/b#

Seema and Suraj Korumilli gave a presentation about Literacy Movement 4 More at Plainsboro Library on September 27. The siblings have been working on the project for more than 18 months.

“Essentially what we do is build libraries to encourage literacy in impoverished villages,” says Seema. “Our first project was started in Kapileswarapuram, India, and we have provided them with a library, reading room, and two laptops stocked with E-books.”

The duo seeks volunteers and monetary donations to expand globally. Visit www.­literacy­move­ment4more.­org for information.

#b#For the Babies#/b#

The March of Dimes recently recognized Percis Bansal, a former resident of Plainsboro, for her work with the nationally recognized March of Dimes youth group Mercer County Chain Reaction Youth Council and its contributions to the March of Dimes. Through her leadership, dedication, support, and the generosity of the community, she has helped raise more than $500,000 to support the March of Dimes mission to give every baby a healthy start. Bansal is now a resident of Monroe.

Since she started working with the March of Dimes in 2001, she has played a significant role in Rangeela, a multi-cultural evening of food, music, and dancing presented by the Mercer County Chain Reaction Youth Council and its adult mentors, by recruiting parents, students, community leaders, and artists to join together and be part of the event.

Her son, Rahul, a graduate of High School North, founded Rangeela at High School North. He also created the Chain Reaction Youth Council in Middlesex County and later became the national chair. His twin brother, Rohit, a graduate of High School South, founded the Mr. South event, a male beauty pageant to benefit March of Dimes.

Rangeela will be held Saturday, October 18, at High School North. The event will feature dances by area choreographers and a featured performance by Bollywood singer Samir Date, accompanied by Dipalee Somaiya. There will also be a special appearance and performance by Articulate Ability, an ensemble of visually challenged dancers. The musical evening will be followed by an Indian dinner from the Pind (Palace of Asia). The show will begin at 4 p.m., and ticket prices range from $20 to $100. Visit marchofdimes.­org for information.