A proud member of the MEND network of food pantries
A New Year's thank you for all your support in 2016!  
Young IFPO client with food (Abigail Schwamm photo)
As 2017 begins, we are so thankful for all the wonderful support that IFPO received this past year. We were able to serve an amazing 27,258 individuals this past year. There were 8,297 total visits, an 18% increase from 2015, representing 1,377 seniors, 11,476 children and 14,405 adults. Assuring that so many of our food-insecure neighbors had an easier week would not have been possible without each and every one of you volunteering, contributing to food drives, and offering physical help and financial support. We are very grateful.
CAN you provide CANs in January? 
Purchasing food for IFPO at ShopRite's Can Can Sale is a fantastic way to help your neighbors! 
The annual Can Can Sale at ShopRite features vegetables for considerably less than what we can purchase them for at the Community Foodbank.* We'd love you to fill an entire bag with just one type of vegetable for us (so no sorting is required once it gets to IFPO). Multiple filled bags strongly encouraged and gratefully accepted! Canned goods can be dropped at any of our constituent partners (Congregation Beth El, Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun or Christ Church of Short Hills) or brought to our host Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church any Wednesday we have food pantry. 

Other canned goods we always need are currently on sale as well: Progresso Soups at 8 for 88 cents each when you buy 8 and diced tomatoes for 69 cents when you buy 12. We can't beat these prices for goods we require in large quantities every pantry week.

This is a great opportunity for groups to do food drives for IFPO. Organize a group of friends or neighbors for a 1,000 can challenge! Do a drive with your youth group, Girl or Boy Scout Troop, school class or Book Club! 
can can sale
* The corn we purchased for Thanksgiving from CFB cost 50 cents a can and green beans cost 45 cents. These same vegetables are available this week at Shoprite for 34 cents when you buy 12. And, in addition to vegetables at the Can Can sale (and the week before "Can't Wait Sale" ) costing less than at CFB, these items are not always available at CFB when we want to purchase them. For example, our clients are very fond of peas, which we can rarely purchase. 
Support IFPO's Diaper Bank today!

Have some leftover diapers your child or grandchild outgrew? Are you stuck with extra diapers now that your toddler is potty trained?

The Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges happily accepts open packages of unused diapers  for our Diaper Program, which is currently distributing diapers to as many as 130 babies each month. Clean diapers are a basic need of all babies and toddlers. Yet, one in three U.S. parents do not have enough diapers to keep their baby clean, dry and healthy. P arents working hard to make ends meet also pay more for their children's basic necessities - including often paying twice as much for diapers as wealthier parents. Low-income parents with infants and toddlers spend 14 percent of their income on diapers alone - leaving less room to cover rent, food, or heat. Innovative approaches like IFPO's Diaper program, a participant in the National Diaper Bank Network, can help close the Diaper Gap. Read more here (White House blog).

Access to clean diapers improves the well-being of all babies and their families. You can help by donating your leftover diapers. And of course, we are always happy to take new and unopened packages of diapers as well (especially in larger sizes 4, 5 and 6).  Diapers can be brought with you to IFPO any week we are open, or email us to discuss other drop off options.  
Diaper program clients
42% of the food insecure individuals we serve are children,  unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life. Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important for establishing a good foundation that has implications for a child's future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity. 
 

Volunteer feeding one of our diaper babies as her mother shops
An IFPO volunteer feeds a hungry baby so her Mom can pick up diapers.  Due to generous donors to the "Give a Pack" diaper donation program on Giving Tuesday, we received a matching $ 500 credit from Jet.com!  

Holiday Thank Yous 

We are thrilled to have been able to furnish groceries, the "fixings" for a holiday meal (including mashed potatoes, hot chocolate, oranges, fresh carrots, and mac and cheese) as well as hams or tilapia to 350 clients and members of the Orange and East Orange communities at our Dec. 21 Holiday distribution. Photos from that event appear later in this newsletter. 

This would not have been possible without the massive volunteer effort on that day, and the very generous support of our many donors, as well as our Holiday Sponsors, to whom we are so grateful:

The Bass Foundation , whose continued generosity allowed us to provide 250 of our clients with hats. Clients were delighted to be able to pick a hat in the color of their choice. 
Hats from the Bass Foundation

Bass hats being distributed

Bombas  who provided us with 720 pairs of socks to distribute to our clients. Clients were able to pick appropriate sizes for themselves and family members. For every pair of socks sold, Bombas gives away a pair of specially engineered socks (including reinforced seams for greater durability) to members of at-risk communities. They've donated more than 1.5 million socks! 

Socks from Bombas


Karen Feldman and The Company Store for major support for our holiday hams; and SMG Foundation, who provided additional financial support for the hams or tilapia each client and guest received. 

holiday hams and fish

Carlo's Bakery (the Cake Boss), who provided 80 pounds of holiday cookies through Temple Sinai of Summit (and then chocolate rugelach the following week)! 

Cookies from Carlo's Bakery

cookies from Carlo's bBakery

So thankful to those groups who recently donated 
food and toys 
We continue to be the very grateful recipient of food collections and other donations which supplement our food purchases.
 
4th grade Girl Scout Troop #20411 of Glenwood School, Millburn, under the direction of Laura Sinins, held a  scavenger hunt that resulted in 30 bags of food for IFPO.
Lindsay Norman, manager of the Center for Volunteerism of the Jewish Federation of Metrowest, delivered bags of non-perishable food from Giving Tuesday event
Lindsay Norman, manager of the Center for Volunteerism of the Jewish Federation of Metrowest, delivered non-perishable food collected at a Giving Tuesday event. 
The Religious School of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel made a menorah of food that was then donated to the IFPO, along with hand written messages of love and hope for clients.  
messages of love and support from TSTI religious school children

Writing messages of love and hope for IFPO clients

presents.jpg
Our host Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church was able to provide new toys for their members in need to give to their children thanks to the donations of our supporters, and we were able to hand out toys to clients in need for their children at our Holiday Distribution as well. Thank you to everyone who contributed toys and gift cards, including Newark Academy Moms, Newcomers of Millburn and Short Hills, and Millburn Workmoms. SMG Foundation provided over 200 new toys for this project. 

Photos from our 12/21 Holiday distribution
overview from the front of the room
Cases of food brought into the IFPO in the previous weeks are brought out onto the floor by an army of volunteers in very deliberate arrays, ready to go into 2 grocery bags. It's very important to us that everyone we serve this day gets each of the 24 items going into those 2 bags. 

Jodi Cooperman addresses our volunteers
An overview of the main room as Jodi Cooperman thanks our volunteers. Red bags held "regular" groceries (pasta sauce, pasta, tuna, oatmeal, peaches, peanut butter, green beans, corn, milk, chili, soup, and beans).  
 
Holiday grocery bags, ready to go.
The "Holiday grocery bag" had mashed potatoes, yams, 2 mac and cheese, hot chocolate (some from the Winston School), fresh oranges and carrots, canned mixed fruit, cranberry sauce, chocolates, soap, and cocoa butter lotion.  
sandwhich making for holiday distributon
With funds provided by SMG Foundation, we were able to make turkey and cheese sandwiches to distribute to our holiday clients and emergency guests. 
Bagging holiday groceries
Some of our Holiday grocery baggers. We had close to 100 volunteers helping to make this a great day for those in neighboring communities. 
 

Client with Carenter's Club volunteer
We'd never get our work done without the consistent support of our Carpenter's Club crew. Eileen Davis helps out in the Sanctuary. 
Images from the Sanctuary on the day of 
our Holiday Distribution 
      
Clients waiting for holiday distribution

Clients waiting for holiday distribution

Clients waiting for holiday distribution
 
Clients waiting for holiday distribution
5

Clients waiting for holiday distribution

 
clients waiting for holiday distribution
 
An Amazing Christmas for a Family Program 
Due to incredible support from 23 sponsors and the awesome efforts by IFPO's Cyndy Wyatt, 25 different IFPO client families received extra support this holiday season. Most were gifts for families with school age children who are experiencing challenges that we thought deserved special support during the holidays. 
Here are j ust a few examples. Some of our participating clients will experience snow for the first time and they will have boots and warm jackets thanks to our sponsors.  A number of families do not own adequate bedding, and they received new comforters to keep warm at night. Three families with autistic children received sponsor gifts to delight the children and give their exhausted parents a few minutes of down time. Three students (including a needy high school student and a preteen who is being bullied at the library) received computers.  A large family with three babies received a three month supply of diapers. These are life changing gifts.
We were also able to provide a number of baby blankets donated by Taryn Berelowitz, co-founder of Romy & Rosie.  


 

 

 


 
adopt a family at Christmas

 
Cyndy Wyatt with an adopt a family recipient

In a wonderful demonstration of the "interfaith" nature of the Interfaith Food Pantry, each family also received a fresh holiday fruit basket prepared for them by the Jam-e-Masjid Islamic Center
 of Boonton. We are so grateful to Saba Khan for coordinating this project.
And just a few of the Christmas morning smiles:  
Smiles on Xmas morning from Xmas for a family program

Smiles on Xmas morning from Xmas for a family program

Smiles on Xmas morning from Xmas for a family program

We're So Grateful to Our Partners and Volunteers 
OUR NEW PARTNER STEPS UP IN A BIG WAY!
Summit Medical Group Foundation  has provided incredible support to our clients since coming onboard with us this year. They are providing monthly health screenings and medical information to our clients.  Their services have already had huge benefits, as a screened individual was immediately sent to the emergency room due to very high glucose level. We're thrilled that he is doing well and now under a doctor's care. 

And if that wasn't enough for us to love having them as a partner:
---For Thanksgiving, they ran a Coat Drive for us. 
---A group from their leadership team volunteered at pantry mid-December. 
---And, for Xmas, they provided over 200 toys for our clients and members of our host Church, as well as financial support toward our ham and tilapia purchases and for our sandwich fixings. 

Special thanks to SMG Foundation's Joe Finocchiaro and Pamela Singer!
from SMG Foundation

 

 

 
Summit Medical Group Foundation volunteers mid-December

 

 

Other Great Partners and Vounteers 
 
Melissa Litwin made American girl ponchos to sell to benefit IFPO
Melissa Litwin crocheted American Girl ponchos, and sold them for a a donation to IFPO! Such a lovely way to help our neiighbors.

We are so incredibly grateful for Jen Miller and  Maplecrest Moves Charities for their ongoing support. Jen brought the Maplecrest van to us to pickup food at the Community
FoodBank on Dec. 13 and then brought it back to pantry for unloading by our Investors Bank volunteers. She helped us pickup fresh carrots and oranges at the Route 10 Farmer's Market on Dec. 20 and then delivered them to us on Dec. 21 for our Holiday distribution. Don't know how we'd get this all done without Maplecrest! 

Investors Bank sends volunteers on a monthly basis to help us unload our trucks and stock     our shelves. We were delighted to have a       group "onboard" with us for our Holiday         distribution day as well! 

An ongoing way you can help:  Mention IFPO when you bring in your device to  uBreakiFix at 304 Millburn Ave, Millburn, and they'll take 10% off your sale and donate it to IFPO!  uBreakiFix specializes in same-day repair of most electronics. Repairs include cracked screens, water damage, battery replacement and software issues.  Don't let a broken device ruin your day! 

The Sisterhood of Congregation Beth El held a feminine hygiene drive during the month of December. Despite being a matter of basic health, g irls and women in communities all across the United States simply can't afford necessities like tampons and pads. Those items are not covered by (already limited) food stamps. Some families are forced to cut back or choose other critical purchases. Girls and women in communities all across the United States are missing school and work because they simply can't afford basic necessities like tampons and pads. We will be able to distribute 80 packages of products to our clients in January due to this drive.

Shayna Schmidt speaking to Beth El sisterhood


Products collected by Beth El sisterhoodoo

Interfaith Food Pantry 
of the Oranges