Helping to meet essential human needs of food-insecure residents of Orange and East Orange, NJ, with dignity and respect
A proud member of the MEND network of food pantries and a proud partner with the
Children's Book Pantry at IFPO
book pantry project
The IFPO is thrilled that The Book Pantry Project is now offering children's books and literacy support materials to our clients twice a month. Volunteers Anne Quinn and Shea Williams, a trained librarian, talk with clients to determine what free children's books are best suited for their own family's needs. On the first distribution day of the month, they provide picture and baby books, as well as parent literature in Spanish and Haitian Creole, encouraging reading to even the littlest children. On their second pantry visit they bring a wider range of children’s books with a focus on grades K-5. They also encourage and help clients enroll for library cards for the Orange and East Orange Public Libraries, ensuring that our clients are aware of these wonderful community resources.

The Book Pantry Project started when Quinn and Williams sought to utilize a large collection of books from a former Orange educator (who had started a book pantry at the Orange library and now needed to rehome other books as she was moving out of state). They found storage space for these books through the Food Pantry at Our Lady of Sorrows, our MEND partner in South Orange. With the encouragement of Kate Cahill, director of the OLS pantry, Quinn and Williams spoke about their project at a MEND meeting, resulting in the IFPO asking them to distribute books.
Book pantry project
Increasing the books available in our clients' homes and encouraging reading to children has a positive impact on their educational achievements. Research shows that kids whose parents read to them have greater vocabularies at a young age, and are better prepared to pick up reading skills. Additionally, people who grow up in homes full of books tend to have higher reading comprehension rates and better mathematical and digital communication skills.*

The IFPO also distributes donated children's books and cookbooks to clients on pantry days when The Book Pantry Project is not on site. We regret that due to space limitations we cannot accept any other types of books.

Diabetes Program Phase 2
SMG diabetes screening

We are thrilled that Summit Medical Group Foundation will soon begin screenings to enroll a new, second group of IFPO clients in “Food, Health and Hope: An Answer to Diabetes”. This fabulous program, co-sponsored by the Community FoodBank, provides enrolled clients with nutrition counseling and medical education, and further medical screenings. Twice a month these clients receive, in addition to their regular IFPO food allotment, special food boxes containing fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and other nutritious food appropriate for people with diabetes. IFPO clients enrolled in Phase 1 were extremely positive about the program , and they made significant changes in their lifestyles with resultant improvements in their health.

On Saturday May 18, the IFPO, Summit Medical Group Foundation and the six other agency partners who piloted this important program will receive the Hope Award from the Community FoodBank at their annual Blue Jean Ball . This year's event will focus on hunger as a health issue, and highlight the importance of fresh produce and nutrition education in the Community FoodBank's work. 
Special April Distributions

Easter, Hunger Busters and cleaning supplies to support our clients

We were delighted to offer our clients three special distributions in April.
---Before Easter, we provided all clients with a reusable bag, a two pound bag of frozen fish, and a choice of candy (Peeps, chocolate bunnies and jelly beans).
---Recognizing that the children of many clients would not be getting breakfast and lunch in school the last week of April, when both Orange and East Orange had Spring Break, we provided a supplemental Hunger Busters bag to families with school-age children. This included snacks provided and bagged by seventh graders from our partner Newark Academy during their recent pantry visit, as well as nut snacks, canned chicken, applesauce, and mac and cheese.
---Following up on last year's very popular Spring cleaning supply distribution, on our last pantry day of April this year clients received a bucket, and a choice of items like Fabuloso, Pine Sol, bleach, paper towels, spray cleaner, laundry detergent pods or sponges.
Fundraiser allows us to increase Feminine Hygiene Supplies
Patti Nathan

Each month, the IFPO offers clients feminine hygiene products, ensuring that no one has to go without these basic necessities. We are delighted that longtime IFPO volunteer (and member of our partner Congregation B'nai Jeshurun) Patti Nathan has chosen to donate $1,200 to us that she raised from friends, relatives and neighbors as part of the NCJW/Essex Period. Project's "Time of the Month Initiative". These funds will allow the IFPO to purchase additional maxi pads, allowing us to provide supplies two times a month several times throughout the year.
Coding Volunteer Needed

Do you know what JavaScript, Heroku Deploy and Git are? Do the words Python, Django, JQuery, and the letters CSS/HTML make your heart sing? The IFPO is looking for a volunteer who can help us update our volunteer sign in system. Knowledge of each one of these coding languages is necessary. Contact if you can help.
Reminders to our Volunteers
bring your own bottlke

With warmer weather upon us, please remember to bring water for your personal consumption while you are at pantry.

For safety's sake, please wear sneakers or other closed-toed shoes; no sandals are allowed.
no open toed shoes
Gratitude for So Many Who Have Helped Recently with Food and Other Donations
We are always delighted to supplement our stocks with donated non-perishable food that is unopened and unexpired. For a list of most needed items, go to
Gracie MacKenzie Frankel and Family
Gracie Mackenzie Frankel collected mac and cheese for her bas mitzvah project. The Frankel family came to pantry to distribute hundreds of boxes in time for Easter dinners!
Golda Och Purim to Passover collection
Thanks to Natasha Cooper-Benisty for bringing us the Purim to Passover collection from Golda Och Academy. We are grateful also for recent food donations from Wyoming Presbyterian Church   (especially love the peanut butter and jelly!), Daisy Troop #20547, and Goya products from Catholic Charities.

Germinal Organic snack donation
Clients took home healthy organic Gluten-Free Apple Bars and Chocolate Cream Bars snack bars recently. When Germinal Organic, a California company, had extra snacks at a Newark warehouse, they did an internet search for nearby pantries and found us!
Moms helping Moms diapers
Our amazing partner Moms Helping Moms Foundation provides diapers to us directly each month . We also receive diapers from MHM as part of our partnership with MEND. In the first quarter of 2019, MHM provided 23% of the diapers we distributed!
ECLC yarn donation
We are always happy to have smiling PRIDE clients from ECLC visit us. Although they are usually shopkeepers for us, on this day they also brought yarn to distribute to our clients.
Metrowest mitzvah in a minute
Winter goodies like tissues, cough drops, lip balm, a scarf and hat (or scarf and gloves), a snow brush, and a travel tumbler with hot cocoa mix were offered to clients from the winter warm-up packages assembled at the Martin Luther King Day Mitzvah-in-a Minute event run by NCJW Essex.
TBJ Mac and cheese
Children of our partner Congregation B'nai Jeshurun (TBJ) decorated and wrapped packages of mac and cheese as part of a Purim celebration. Our clients were happy to be the recipients.
TBJ gift bags
TBJ also provided Purim gift bags for our clients. Known as s halach manos, and also called a Purim basket, these are gifts of food or drink that are sent to family, friends and others on Purim day.

TBJ recently also donated a large amount of tuna, soup and beans to the IFPO from their congregation's recent Mitzvah Day. A ll of the other canned items collected at Mitzvah Day were loaded onto the Green Bean , a donated school bus that has been repurposed into a healthy food collection vehicle and mobile pantry, and shared with other MEND pantries.
TSTI muffin mania
The Religious School of our partner Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel held their second Muffin Mania to bake treats for our clients. Susan Nasberg Abrams and Sandy Rustin-Fleischer came to distribute these treats.
Food collected by Diller Teen Fellows
The Greater MetroWest Diller Teen Fellows collected donations by partnering with their schools, synagogues, and youth groups to make the food drive a success. The Israeli Diller Teen Fellows from Rishon LeZion delivered all of the donations to the IFPO when they volunteered in April.
Bean chili starter
We distributed 200 packages of bean chili starter to clients, assembled at the Community Mitzvah Day of the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest.
End Hunger 3.6
For the last 3 years, IFPO Board member and Christ Church in Short Hills IFPO Chair Peggy Baggaley has led an IFPO team that participated in End Hunger 3.6 . This event, sponsored by the Madison Rotary each March, packages 250,000 meals that are distributed to over 40 organizations (including the IFPO) to feed the hungry in NJ and NYC.
End Hunger 3.6 bagging
The name of this event comes from the fact that e very 3.6 seconds, someone dies of malnutrition or starvation. In NJ and NY, one in five children relies on food stamps to provide daily meals. 
Ivie Drogin distributes toiletries
Ivie Drogin and her mom Shani handed out toiletries collected in a mitzvah drive for Ivie's upcoming bas mitzvah. Members of Congregation Agudath Israel , the Drogins were familiar with the IFPO from  Newark Academy , where Ivie's older siblings attend.
Shira Rost and son
Thank you to realto r Shira Ros t, who made a significant donation to the IFPO in appreciation for houses recently sold, and came to work with her son.
Realtor team Saba Andy Amy Shayna
We are very lucky to be so strongly supported by our local real estate community, including IFPO Board member Shayna Schmidt, Registration Team member Saba Kahn , and stalwarts of our vegetable team Andy Soloway and Amy Paternite .
JLOSH delivery from Kids for Kids event
Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills collected peanut butter, hearty soups, and non-perishable canned meals for us at their seventh annual Kids for Kids event. Their theme is one we love: little hands can make a big difference!
IFPO in the News
Maplewood Chili Cookoff
Did you see this wonderful coverage of the Maplewood Chili Cookoff , which raised nearly $9,000 for the IFPO?

Thank you to the Cookoff and to all their supporters who made this possible.
Thank You to Two Special Volunteers
We are sad to say goodbye to two long time pantry volunteers who will both shortly be moving out of state. Hope Lampe, from our partner Christ Church in Short Hills , h as been a pantry volunteer for over 20 years, providing us with her smiles and talents as well as institutional memory. Eileen Davis has been a mainstay of our Sanctuary Team, and provided the impetus to name us as the recipient of funds from Prudential's 28th Annual Charity Golf Outing in 2017. Eileen came to IFPO five years ago with the Carpenter's Club. The Club came to Church of the Epiphany to help fix the pantry rooms when the IFPO was first going to utilize the site. Like the other Carpenter's Club members, Eileen stayed on when the carpentry was complete; they have been among our most loyal volunteers and supporters.

We are grateful for all of Hope and Eileen's support, and wish them well in their new homes.
Karen Ehrlich and Eileen Davis at golf outing
Eileen Davis with her daughter Karen Ehrlich at the Prudential golf outing.
Eileen Davis and Board
Eileen Davis, fellow Sanctuary Team member Tina Brezenoff and members of the IFPO Board on Eileen's last day at pantry.
Hope Lampy and IFPO Board President Diane Stein
Hope Lampe and IFPO Board President Diane Stein.
Cake for Hope Lampy
We bid Hope Lampe a fond farewell.
Tom Swarz
We'd also like to acknowledge long-time volunteer Tom Swartz, an elder statesman from our partner Christ Church in Short Hills , who will no longer be joining us at pantry. We will miss his smiling presence on days when Christ Church is lead congregation.
We Couldn't Do All This Without Our Fabulous Partners
We can't thank our partners often enough. We are particularly indebted to:
--- The Community FoodBank of NJ , who now delivers pallets of healthy produce to us twice a month. Each Farmer's Market day includes up to seven healthy vegetable and fruit choices for clients. If you follow us on Facebook (and we hope you do), you get to see the amazing panoply of vegetables and fruits we have to offer. In recent weeks, we've handed out tons of zucchini, yellow squash, corn, avocados, cabbages, collard greens, peppers , spicy peppers , cauliflower , collard greens, eggplants, regular and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, green beans, yellow wax beans, oranges , bananas, strawberries, watermelon and apples. Clients were also delighted to receive a number of special items from CFB, including fresh eggs and juices. CFB President and CEO Carlos M. Rodriguez and  Renee Grossman Helfenstein , CFB Director of Special Events and Community Outreach, joined us in late February to tour our client choice pantry and assist our clients.
--- Summit Medical Group Foundation continues to provide health screenings for our clients. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and SMGF will provide clients with skin cancer education.
--- MEND, an interfaith network of 20 member food pantries located throughout Essex County, NJ, provides us with support, food, and recently with a grant that allowed us to buy a hand truck and two carts to help us bring food into our pantry spaces.
--- Arturo's provides us with carrots and onions once each month;
--- Aerofarms ensures we can obtain locally grown, pesticide-free greens like arugula, watercress and spinach.
---Our five bread and pastry partners provide amazing baked goods each week. Thank you to Sonny's Bagels (South Orange), Liv Breads (Millburn), Whole Foods (West Orange), Panera (Millburn) and Goldberg's Famous Deli (Millburn), as well as to all the volunteers who do the weekly pickups!
--- Maplecrest Moves Charities provides transportation and a driver (Myron) each month to move diapers from our partner Moms Helping Moms Foundation in North Plainfield, produce from Aerofarms in Newark, and groceries from the CFB in Hillside. We don't know how we could do all we do without them.
--- Worldwide Orphans who regularly engage our youngest clients in developmental play while their parents shop in our choice pantry.
How lucky are our clients to get tomatoes this gorgeous!
PRIDE clients hand out eggplants with Samantha Robinson
PRIDE clients from ECLC hand out eggplants with volunteer Samantha Robinson.
Corn, zucchini and yellow squash - we see amazing succotash coming!
The bread smells so good every week!
Arturo's and Aerofarms
Carrots from Arturos and greens from Aerofarms.
Maplecrest Moves Charities delivers
Myron from Maplecrest Moves Charities delivering diapers from Moms Helping Moms Foundation to the IFPO.
CFB CEO Carlos Rodrigues and Renee Helfenstein
CFB President and CEO Carlos M. Rodriguez and  Renee Grossman Helfenstein , CFB Director of Special Events and Community Outreach, with IFPO Board members Diane Stein and Jodi Cooperman.
WWO Toy library
Worldwide Orphans' Element of Play® program provides children with access to play-based experiences and learning to support child development and school readiness.
Jane Aronson of WWO
We just love this picture of Jane Aronson, global pediatric specialist and founder of Worldwide Orphans. She's clearly so thrilled to watch this IFPO client at play.
SMGF screenings
Wellness screenings by SMGF.
SMGF screenings
Wellness screenings by SMGF.
I t just looks like a simple cart, but it's amazing how incredibly helpful this cart (and it's twin) have been on pantry and truck unloading days. Thanks MEND!
We post tons of pictures and information on Facebook after each pantry date. Follow us there to see all the great weekly happenings!
The Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges is an equal opportunity provider.