Building community

Sussex County. Through the pandemic, Mohawk House continues to lend a helping hand to the community, repeatedly reaching out to donate warm meals to those in need.

Vernon /
| 29 Oct 2020 | 01:02

“As long as I’m on this earth, I will always put my best foot forward to help others, and hopefully be a good role model for like-minded people to do the same,” said Mohawk House’s Steve Scro, fresh off another local food donation.

This time, he and Franklin Sussex Automall delivered sixty warm meals (Mohawk House’s signature ravioli and a side of fresh vegetables) to the Vernon Senior Center.

“The seniors loved it. They were so thrilled and touched to have someone deliver these meals to us,” said Mishelle Downtain, Vernon Senior Center’s Director of Recreation and Community Affairs. “When we told them where the meals came from and what it was, their faces lit up.”

Sparta chief of police Neil Spidaletto tagged along to help distribute meals in Vernon and Sparta.

“We just appreciate Steve and Rachel constantly giving, not only in Sparta, but in other townships throughout the county,” said Spidaletto. “Every little bit helps as this pandemic goes on.”

A full plate

Running a restaurant in 2020 is no easy feat; indoor dining is limited to 25% capacity, and with it comes a laundry list of new regulations to keep staff and guests safe. Scro’s new restaurant, Modern Farmer, is slated to open this winter — and has been in construction throughout the pandemic.

But on top of it all, Scro is dedicated to helping those in the community who need it most by doing what he does best: feeding people.

Through a partnership with Franklin Sussex Automall, Mohawk House has donated hundreds of hot meals across Sussex County to local seniors, health care workers, and families in need since March.

Most recently, a truck packed with individual boxes of Mohawk House’s high-end dishes made rounds to Wantage, Jefferson Township, Sparta, and Vernon.

“It was nice getting involved...reaching out to these towns and trying to see where we could help, together with Steve, to provide meals to people who are less fortunate,” said Franklin Sussex Automall’s general manager Bill Snouffer. “We’re going to continue to do it.”

They made two deliveries to Knoll senior community in Sparta, N.J., with help from county supervisor Josh Hertzberg, delivering over 300 meals total. He and Scro both received letters from seniors thanking them for delivering a bit of normalcy during tough times.

Ron Bassani, who serves on the Wantage Township Committee, helped coordinate the effort in Wantage through Norwescap.

“This was an opportunity to help a lot of families who are experiencing difficulties, either directly or indirectly associated with COVID-19,” said Bassani. Cars were lined up to receive the meals, he said. All 150 were distributed.

On top of the regular hot meal donations, Mohawk House is continuing to donate to local food pantries, and regularly parking its mobile butchershop outside Newton Medical Center to provide healthcare workers with a wholesale, high-quality grocery option after a long shift.

Scro is looking forward to continuing his efforts by giving back through the holiday season.

“We did this before the pandemic. We’ll do it after the pandemic,” he said.