When some of us were young, we would see automated egg vending machines, particularly in rural areas. You could pull up, insert your quarters, and get a dozen fresh, cold eggs, right on the roadside. These machines took the place of roadside stands that required either a person to handle sales or an honesty box (which sometimes did not work out so well for the farmer selling the eggs).

The first one we are aware of was set up by a farmer in Warren, NJ. Seymour Epstein had the machine built and placed where he had his roadside stand on Mountain Boulevard, across the street from the municipal building now stands. His family staffed the stand during daytime, but could still sell eggs after-hours through the new Egg-Omat machine. We use a historical photo of his machine to recognize our own Egg-O-Mat donors.

These Egg-O-Mats are no longer around, but we have revived them in our own way. And we don't care which came first, the chicken or the egg, as long as we have fresh eggs for our clients. How many eggs, you say? Well, our average annual number of food orders is 1220, plus our Plainfield Food Security Project food bags. Each order includes a half-dozen or a dozen eggs. You do the math and you come up with over 1600 dozen eggs a year or about 135 dozen a month. Egg prices vary, but in 2022 we paid about $2.49 per dozen at Costco in 5 dozen bundles, when we could get them. That's $340 per month, give or take. In 2023, we're getting jumbo eggs at Green Olive Market in South Plainfield for $1.50/dozen! 

Now, thanks to Sarah Mazzarese, Brian Townley, Pat Bixel, Skip Shihar, Barbara Lyman, Ruth and Bruce Ryno, Leslie Taylor, another Barbara, Joe Bixel, Amber B, David B, Richard McInerny, and Janette Cardozo, we have thirteen regular $10 monthly or $120 annual donations to help fund our egg purchases. Two of our volunteers shop for eggs every few weeks to make sure the fridge is stocked and ready to go, so our Egg-O-Mats help fund those purchases. We're still a little short, so you have time to be an egg donor, or any of our other needs. Food donations are gratefully accepted, along with monetary contributions - they help us when donations don't keep up with demand.

Go to our Contact Us or Donate page and click on the Donate button, or www.tinyurl.com/starfishplfdinc, then select Egg-O-Mat from the dropdown list of choices. And "thank you" in advance!

THE EGG-O-MATs are producing

Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to purchase fresh eggs to go out in every grocery order that we package. Here, our volunteer is stacking 30 dozen eggs purchased from Green Olive Market in South Plainfield at an incredible $0.89 per dozen (in 2019). Today's eggs (2022)cost approximately $2.59 per dozen when purchased at Costco in 5 dozen bundles.

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