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Drive honors New Hope councilwoman’s “legacy of generosity and care”


Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that donations will be accepted through the end of the year.

To honor former New Hope Borough Council member Laurie McHugh, her family and friends have organized the Laurie McHugh Memorial Food Drive to provide support for local community members in need. They were inspired by McHugh’s deep commitment to public service and her co-founding role with Bucks Dragon Boat, which raises money to support families facing food insecurity.

The collection drive was launched in the months leading up to Wednesday, which would have been McHugh’s 59th birthday. With a goal of raising $59,000, the drive will benefit a local nonprofit organization — the Bucks County Housing Group.

Serving approximately 21,000 individuals last year, Bucks County Housing Group operates two food pantries, two mobile market pantries, three community gardens, and supportive housing programs.

“Laurie McHugh’s spirit continues to inspire us all, reminding us of the power of unity, compassion, and community support,” said Erik Clare, executive director of Bucks County Housing Group. “Through the Laurie McHugh Memorial Food Drive, we honor her legacy by extending a helping hand to those facing food insecurity in Bucks County. Together, we can make a meaningful difference and carry forward Laurie’s legacy of generosity and care.”

For nearly a decade, McHugh served on the New Hope Borough Council, where she was its liaison to the Shade Tree Commission and the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce and also helped form the borough’s first Junior Council.

McHugh also served as the co-founder and CEO of Union Chill, one of Lambertville’s first cannabis dispensaries, which is also supporting the fundraiser.

“Laurie always distinguished herself as a thoughtful and sympathetic representative on council,” said New Hope Borough Council President Ken Maisel. “Whenever she saw a community in need, she jumped in to help as best she could. When COVID upended our lives and businesses, Laurie became the point of contact for merchants, restaurants and nonprofits anxious to let the community know that their services, however limited, were still available.”

The Laurie McHugh Memorial Food Drive runs through the end of the year. The goal to raise $59,000 would provide 59,000 meals. To donate, visit the donation website or mail a check to 620 Jacksonville Road, Suite 140, Warminster, PA, 18974, Attn: Beth Ann Rinkus and write “Laurie McHugh Memorial Food Drive” on the memo line.

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