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
Today is #Giving Tuesday. 
Consider a contribution to the IFPO! 
toy library
As IFPO volunteers and supporters, you clearly know how much we all gain when we give back. As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites communities around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another. We are very grateful for your donation of time, resources and talents to help our neighbors in Orange and East Orange. 

By mid-November, the IFPO had already served close to 9,508 households with a total of 31,090 family members, a 25% increase in clients over the prior year. 43% of those we served were children. 

If you have already participated in 
Thanks + Giving 2018, please accept our most sincere gratitude. If you have not yet responded to our appeal, or if you are inspired to further support the wonderful work of the IFPO, here's how you can contribute financially: we are delighted to accept checks payable to IFPO and sent to P.O. Box 341, Short Hills, NJ 07078, or you can also click  this link  to make an online, tax deductible contribution via Paypal.

TODAY (Tuesday) ONLY: We have an anonymous match for up to $2,500 donated via Paypal by midnight tonight. Click this link to donate today and double the value of your gift!
Christmas Distribution  
Ben Olitsky with holiday hams and fish


On Wednesday, December 19, we will distribute fish and hams, festive holiday groceries as well as regular groceries, and toys to an anticipated 400 clients. Volunteers are needed to unload trucks; organize, fill and distribute grocery bags; organize and distribute toys; distribute fish and hams; and escort clients. If you would like to help with this distribution, you MUST  sign up   in advance using SignUp Genius   due to safety and fire regulations and to ensure that everyone has a positive volunteer experience. Children MUST be at least 12 years old to help this day. If you are a first time volunteer you also must fill out the volunteer registration form ; please click this link to fill it out before you arrive.

The IFPO will not be open on Dec. 26 this year. We will be providing extra regular groceries to clients on Dec. 19 to help tide them over till our next pantry day on Jan. 9. 

If you and your family are looking for additional ways to help those in need over the holidays, see our  volunteer suggestion guide.

New Toys Wanted
boy with holiday toy

The IFPO is conducting a very targeted new -- never used -- toy collection.  Our goal is to collect 1,000 toys for our clients to select as holiday gifts for their children. These are the only toys many of these children will receive. We also hope to be able to provide several hundred toys to our host Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church, who will distribute them on Dec. 22nd to their members.

During the IFPO's 2016 holiday food distribution, many parents thanked us for the holiday food they received and shared that they could not afford to purchase toys for their children for Christmas. Our Toy Drive last year was extremely successful, and with your help, we will again ensure that all of our IFPO children will receive a new toy for Christmas 2018.  Complete project details $25 maximum value, small in size, batteries not required, unwrapped) and drop off locations (if you do not use the Registry ) are available on our website .

Save the Schlep.
Order through the  IFPO Amazon Toy Registry
Toys ordered through the Registry will be delivered directly to one of our drop off sites (no need for you to transport). 

Bringing Light into the World -
with oil and bulbs! 
Kathryn giving out oil
Celebrating Chanukah? Donate Cooking Oil to the IFPO.

Chanukah (12/2/18 -12/10/18) tells us of the miracle of the oil many years ago in a land far away. This Chanukah, you can create your own miracle of the oil for people right here in our own community. Cooking oil is one of the most requested grocery items by our food-insecure clients, but is not a commodity we often supply. 

We are looking to collect at least 300 plastic bottles of vegetable or canola oil (48 ounce size). Please consider donating a plastic bottle of oil to the IFPO, or make a donation to the IFPO (checks to P.O. Box 341, Short Hills, NJ 07078 marked "cooking oil drive" or by clicking   this link  to make a donation via Paypal) which will enable us to purchase oil on sale in bulk. 

Tribute cards can be sent if you donate in honor of someone for a minimum donation of $18 for this event. What a meaningful Chanukah gift for children or grandchildren! 

We will distribute this cooking oil to clients as part of our Dec.19 holiday event.

who are donating 300 packages of light bulbs for IFPO clients to further bring light into the world. We will be distributing these bulbs on Dec. 12. 

Thanksgiving Thank Yous
We are thrilled to have been able to furnish groceries, the "fixings" for Thanksgiving (like cranberry sauce and gravy), roasting pans, pies, produce, frozen turkeys and coats to more than 550 clients and members of the Orange and East Orange communities at our Nov. 21 Thanksgiving distribution.

This would not have been possible without the many volunteers who helped out at Pantry Prep on Nov. 18 and at the November 21 event, and the very generous support of our many donors and our Thanksgiving Sponsors, to whom we are so grateful:

Summit Medical Group Foundation , who provided 50 turkeys and held a coat drive providing us with hundreds of coats.

Elliot Sommer and the Susan Sommer Fund for Social Justice, which provided funds for the purchase of close to 150 twelve-pound turkeys.

Squirrel and the Bee , who donated fabulous grainless cookies which were added to our Holiday bags.

Abby Schwamm Photography , who took wonderful photos of the Thanksgiving Distribution, which can be seen by clicking this link.

Neal Greenstein and ShopRite of Brookdale (Bloomfield).

Doug and Carol Simon.
BASS thanksgiving $
The Bass Foundation' s continued generosity allowed us to provide 500 clients with a fresh apple pies. They also contributed significantly so we could purchase additional needed food items. The Bass Foundation also donated 8 large bags of new children's coats to our Coat Drive.

Apple pies
Apple pies funded by the Bass Foundation. Families from South Mountain Elementary (South Orange), Glenwood and Hartshorn schools made directed pie donations from their school pie sales.
Farm & Fork Thanksgiving produce
Thanks to Melissa Goldberg and  Farm and Fork Society , which donated 9 boxes of gorgeous organic produce. Farm & Fork’s Holiday Food Drive aided our clients, as well as our local farmers who have experienced an extremely poor growing season due to abundant rain and little sunshine.
Bagging Farm & Fork Produce at Thanksgiving
We were delighted to use this produce to provide emergency guests with bags of cabbages, carrots, parsnips and more.
Maplecrest Moves with turkeys
We could never have served so many at Thanksgiving without the help of Jen Miller and Maplecrest Moves Charities . The Maplecrest Moves van driven by Myron ( #Myrononthemove) Clark helped us pick up food at the  Community Food Bank  (CFB) on Nov. 13, helped us pick up holiday boxes at CFB on Nov. 20, and then delivered the boxes to us on Nov. 21 for our Thanksgiving event.  

Here’s the first pallet of turkeys from the CFB loaded into the Maplecrest Moves truck, being approved by IFPO Board Member Shayna Schmidt, who drove the U-Haul filled with our remaining CFB turkey order (another 100+ turkeys).
Kings turkeys 2018
Kings Supermarkets donated 100 turkeys to this event.

Sandy French, Diane Stein, Jodi Cooperman, Peggy Baggaley and Shayna Schmidt, members of the IFPO Board, pick up 100 donated turkeys from Ti Vaugh, Kings of Short Hills. Missing from the photo because she was taking the picture: Kim Wachtel of our Registration Team.
Elliot Sommer, our bag man
Elliot Sommer is a regular volunteer at the IFPO. The Susan Sommer Fund for Social Justice provided a large contribution to purchase close to 150 twelve-pound turkeys for this event. The Fund also provides significant financial support for our general operating costs.
BCB Bank donation 2018
IFPO Board member Sandy French accepts a donation from Claudine Baptiste, Branch Manager of BCB Community Bank.
pickup at Stop and Shop
Stop & Shop, South Orange   made a donation which enabled us to purchase all the fixings for the 500 sack lunches distributed to our clients as they left on Wednesday the 21st. 
Bagging snack lunches
Making snack lunches has become a lovely pre-Thanksgiving tradition for the Nasberg-Abrams and Pressel families and friends. This is the fourth year this event has occurred. Our clients are happy to have a quick nosh available after a long morning at our Thanksgiving distribution.
Thanks to all who prepared food for the annual community Thanksgiving Luncheon at Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church 
Thanksgiving luncheon
320 families enjoyed the bounty of the Thanksgiving luncheon (and leftovers!) at our host Church on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
TBJ Family Tikkun Olam program with 21 familes created huge amount of food this morning!
Twenty-one families from the  Congregation B'nai Jeshurun  Family Tikkun Olam program  prepared many trays of food for this event.
Mountain Ridge CC chefs with turkeys
Special thanks to Mountain Ridge Country Club  who cooked eight delicious turkeys for the lunch.
luncheon Kitchen crew led by Neal Erman
Neil Erman and Adam Bell manned the carving station for this event.
Enjoying Thanksgiving lunch
Enjoying lunch.
We so appreciate all who prepared and donated food to enable this annual community celebration. Check out our Facebook page for more photos of this event.
Thanks to those who supported our Drives and "Pantry Prep" on Sunday Nov. 18
David Leit driving U Haul
David Leit - our U Haul driver extraordinaire on Nov. 18 - brought the truck first to the TSTI Drive to collect turkeys, food and coats (including the coats from the Lowenstein Sandler coat drive), and then to the Church, and then to New Providence to pick up 50 turkeys donated by Barth's Market through Summit Medical Group Foundation.

More photos and a video of Pantry Prep can be seen on our Facebook page.
David Leit and Rob Ozer in turkey truck
Shown here in the truck with David is Rob Ozer, Turkey Drive co-chair for 20+ years with IFPO Board Member Lisa Goldberg Ozer held by our partner Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel . We estimate that turkeys collected at TSTI (first for the  Community FoodBank of NJ  and then for the IFPO) have provided dinner to between 42,000 - 50,000 people!  
Thanksgiving groceries from Temple Sinai Summit

The Religious School of  Temple Sinai of Summit donated 50 bags of Thanksgiving groceries. We are also appreciative for recent food donations from the  Camp Winadu , and The Enclave Livingston which will help stock our shelves for the upcoming weeks.  Jimmy Bolen, Exalted Ruler, and Ted Katz, Inner Guard, of the Orange Elks Chapter 135 delivering much needed soup.
Elks deliver food
Thank you to our Coat Drive Supporters, who Provided Warmth for our Clients 
We were thrilled to distribute approximately 1,000 new and gently used winter coats to our clients due to the generosity of those who contributed to coat drives held on our behalf. Significant numbers of coats were provided by our partner congregations: TSTI, TBJ, Christ Church - Short Hills and by the Sisterhood of Congregation Beth El. We are also extremely thankful to  The Bass Foundation Summit Medical Group Foundation ,   ECLC   and their director Bruce Litinger;  Saritte Harel Team at Keller Williams ; The Hilton of Short Hills;  Winston School of Short Hills ,   McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen & Carvelli, P.C ,   Village Babies Development Cente r , Saba Khan, Amy Goldman, and David Leit and  Lowenstein Sandler LLP , all of whom hosted coat drives or provided coats for us.

We will be distributing donated winter accessories (hats, boots, gloves, etc) on our November 28 pantry date.

For the third year, we moved the coats to a tent outside the Sanctuary. Our thanks to Marty Fox and  Almar Party & Tent Rentals   for making this possible.
PRIDE clients with ECLC coat collection
The PRIDE clients of  ECLC of New Jersey  delivered coats. We are delighted to have this group volunteer at the IFPO every week, furthering their program's mission of community participation and work enhancement skills.
Lowenstein coat drive

Lowenstein Sandler LLP , who again this year collected a copious amount of coats and winter accessories to help keep their neighbors warm this winter.

coats donated by McCusker Anselmi Rosen & Carvell

 McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen & Carvelli, P.C  collected coats, diapers and toiletries for us.
SMG Foundation delivers coats
Pamela Singer of  Summit Medical Group Foundation  delivering hundreds of coats. This amazing organization does so much for our pantry, including providing 50 turkeys for this event. They, among other things, co-sponsor our monthly Farmer's Market and our diabetes program.
Deborah Trama  administrator at Village Babies in south Orange
Deborah Trama, Manager of Daily Operations for The Village Babies Development Center of South Orange , shown here with coats donated after a drive they held for the IFPO.  
Just as the weather turned markedly colder, we were able to provide more than 1,000 coats to our neighbors. Winter accessories like hats and gloves will be distributed at our Nov. 28 pantry.
Coat tent
Olga Gurny helps client pick out coat
The generosity of our many coat drive supporters mean that our coat tent contained an amazing selection of adult and children's coats. Thanks to Gail Roth and Ellen Tamaroff of our partner Congregation Beth El for coordinating and to IFPO Board Member Janet Schwamm for overseeing this distribution.
We had so many coats that they actually flowed out of the tent!
Senator Cory Booker volunteers at the IFPO
Sen. Booker and Mayor Warren hand out food
Senator Cory Booker's presence as a volunteer at our Thanksgiving distribution helped draw media attention to the problem of food insecurity in New Jersey. Click here for a fios1news video showing our distribution that features Senator Booker, IFPO Board member Jodi Cooperman, and several of our clients talking about how this event impacts them.
Senator  Cory Booker  with some of the IFPO Board: Karyn Boosin Leit Diane Horowitz Stein , Peggy Baggaley,  Sandy McGall French Lisa Goldberg Ozer Shayna Schmidt , Janet Slove Schwamm , and Jodi Holtz Cooperman .
Senator  Booker  and Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren on the Registration side with: our official greeter Steven Rod, Registration Team Members Eileen Davis,  Ann Spector , Peggy Tornquist,, Al Garcia,  Kim Griffinger Wachtel Elise Wiener Joy with daughter Emma Joy,  Saba Khan  and 
IFPO Board Member Rita Pignatelli . In the grey hat: Sen. Booker's mother, Caroline.
Senator Booker with Rabbi Jessi Olitzky of our partner Congregation Beth El .
Select Images from our
Thanksgiving Distribution
Sanctuary on Thanksgiving
The Sanctuary of our host Church was packed throughout the morning. By the time we were done, we had provided groceries and coats that will feed and keep warm more than 1750 people.
Line at 6.30 am Thanksgiving 2018
The line at 6:30 am extended from the Sanctuary door to the back of the parking lot.
Set up Thanksgiving AM with bags
Although we have been a client choice pantry for 2 1/2 years now, for the enormous Thanksgiving and Christmas distributions we give out pre-packed bags. This photo gives you an idea of some of the logistics. We filled each set of red (regular grocery), apple ("produce plus") and holiday bags 500 times this morning.
Kathryn Cassidy preparing to bag
Kathryn Cassidy helping distribute items we used to fill the "regular" grocery bag, which contained things like beef stew, peanut butter, pancake mix, stuffing, mac and cheese, tomato sauce, and tuna fish.Each client would receive 3 reusable bags.
Bagging Thanksgiving produce
Creating the Produce Plus bag: fresh carrots, celery, 2 pounds of fresh sweet potatoes, cookies from Squirrel and the Bee, apple pie, fresh rolls, spices, and winter survival kits by our partner  Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel  and Women's Volunteer Bootcamp of  Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
Holiday boxes on stage
The blue Holiday Bags included items like gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, cake mix, pigeon peas, pasta and instant potatoes.
Earl at turkey truck
First client out and ready to get a turkey and roasting pan from the truck!
Client with full Thanksgiving load
Three bags full of groceries, a turkey and a turkey pan - time to start prepping Thanksgiving dinner!
turkey truck 2018
Thanks to William Johnson and our volunteers who braved the wintry weather outside to distribute cold and heavy turkeys all morning. A special s hout out to Mike McChesney of our partner Christ Church of Short Hills for his tireless efforts there!
Courtney Cooperman escorting client at Thanksgiving
We escort clients through the process (picking coats, getting the 3 bags, get a snack lunch, and on to the turkey truck). We strive to help to meet essential human needs of food-insecure residents of Orange and East Orange, NJ, with dignity and respect.
Kid at Thanksgiving
More than 750 of the people we reached from our Thanksgiving distribution will be children.
Kid at Thanksgiving
These cute faces make our hard work all the more worthwhile,
Kid at Thanksgiving
We post tons of pictures 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.