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Simple Ways to Support the Community: Food Pantries & Donations

by: Sue Adler
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In a world often filled with busyness and individual pursuits, community giving stands as a beacon of hope and unity. Donating to soup kitchens and volunteering within these essential community hubs is a powerful way to make a difference. It not only addresses the immediate needs of those who are struggling but also fosters a sense of togetherness and shared responsibility. Soup kitchens have long served as lifelines for individuals and families facing food insecurity. These community-driven initiatives provide hot meals, groceries, and a supportive environment for those in need. The importance of soup kitchens extends beyond simply filling empty stomachs. They offer a sense of belonging, dignity, and a reminder that they are not alone in their struggles. In this blog post, we’ve researched local opportunities for both donations and volunteer work.

  • Top Food Items for Donation

Full-size foil pans
Plastic forks & knives
Reusable grocery bags
Canned tuna, canned salmon, canned chicken
Shelf stable milk
Pasta
Instant potatoes
Rice
Cereal
Boxed macaroni and cheese
Canned soups
Canned spaghetti and meatballs
Almond butter, sun butter, jelly (plastic jars only)
Canned vegetables
Canned mixed fruit
Diapers and feminine hygiene products

  • Donation Hubs Near You

-Berkeley Heights-
Church of the Little Flower
「290 Plainfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights」
This parish is supporting a fundraiser aimed at providing kids in need with winter jackets. For $20 you can give a child a warm jacket. Here is the link to donate.

-Chatham-
Corpus Christi
「234 Southern Boulevard, Chatham」
Simply drop off your donated food at the front entrance of the church on weekdays and weekends 10 am – 4 pm!

-Florham Park-
Holy Family Church
「1 Lloyd Avenue, Florham Park」
Drop off made easy, just head to the front of the church and place your non-perishable, pantry items in the donation baskets near the entrance.

-Morristown-
Table of Hope
「65 Spring Street, Morristown」
Established in 2013, this non-profit serves the community by providing dinner 5 nights a week. Looking to donate fresh vegetables for the daily soup kitchen dinners- contact: Michele at [email protected] for more details!

-Montclair-
Toni’s Kitchen
「73 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair」
Toni’s Kitchen is a food ministry of St Luke’s Episcopal Church that offers a place for those in need to find food, clothing, and support. Food and in-season clothing donation hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Saturday 9:30 am to 12:00, and Sunday 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

-Short Hills & Millburn-
Millburn Township Food Pantry
「15 Cypress Street, Millburn」
Donations of non-perishable/unopened food and sanitary items can be dropped at Millburn Town Hall or Green Nectar Juicery during regular business hours, or at 15 Cypress Street in Millburn at any time! The pantry also accepts monetary donations which are exchanged for gift cards to local supermarkets, then distributed to food pantry recipients. You can make a check out to the Township of Millburn and mail it to Ana Millan, Millburn Health Department at 375 Millburn Ave. Millburn, NJ 07041.

-Summit-
Bridges
「120 Morris Avenue, Summit」
To contribute to their clothing donation program, fill-out this form. Drop offs are between 9am – 2pm at 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. Please use the door closest to the driveway on Russell Place, and call their team at (908) 346-5357 upon arrival.

-SOMA-
Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges (IPFO)
「105 Main Street, Orange」
This non-profit helps local residents in need by providing food, clothing, and essential items. The pantry currently supports an average of 650 clients and their families each pantry week, which is an incredible contribution to the community! Make sure to check-out their website linked above for the most needed items. Drop off location & Times: 105 Main Street, Orange, you can enter the building at the back of the parking lot into Parish Hall from Monday to Thursday, 9 am- 2 pm & Saturday, 9:00 -1:30. Questions? 973-629-7713.

-Westfield-
The Westfield NJ Food Pantry
「336 1st Street, Westfield」
Stretched for time? The 501 (c)(3) also provides a Donate Here option for monetary donations. If you would like to make a donation of nonperishables, please reach out to us to schedule a drop-off by calling this number: 908-232-2311 or emailing [email protected]

Supporting our community and investing in the well-being of society as a whole is a great opportunity to practice altruism. It not only provides immediate relief to those in need but also nurtures a sense of togetherness, compassion, and shared responsibility. By combining financial support with personal involvement, we can create stronger, more resilient communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

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