Although our physical pantry is not open, we continue to work tirelessly and extensively with our partners
Community Foodbank of NJ
(CFB), as well as with the Cities of Orange and East Orange, to find ways to provide food to the local community.
Since our last
, we have worked to twice ensure significant quantities of food were delivered to East Orange. On Friday, April 17, we all rejoiced as a tractor trailer load of non-perishable food in 14 day Emergency Food Boxes arrived from the CFB! Our volunteers - recruited through the prior week's SignupGenius - made calls in three languages to 160 of our most recent and vulnerable East Orange clients. Clients we reached were advised of specific times and a convenient East Orange location where they could (on April 20 and 21) pick up EFBs that had been specifically reserved for them. An additional group of less frequent East Orange clients were contacted to advise them of available general pickup options as the City of East Orange distributed the remaining EFBs to needy City residents.
“The extent and impact of this crisis has made food insecurity an issue for many of our residents, some for the very first time in their lives,” said East Orange Mayor Ted R. Green. “On behalf of the entire East Orange community, I want to express a heartfelt thanks to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and the Interfaith Pantry of the Oranges for this generous donation that will help put food on the table for so many of our families in need.”
We are likewise grateful to Mayor Green and Rita Butts, Manager of the East Orange Division of Senior Services, for their support in quickly mobilizing to distribute this food.
Our second delivery to East Orange occurred this past Wednesday, April 22. Thank you to Maplecrest Ford Lincoln for allowing Jen Miller to use the
Maplecrest Moves Charities
van to help the IFPO deliver a pallet of food to the East Orange Senior Center. We also arranged for over 2000 pounds of bananas, carrots, cabbages, oranges, cucumbers, onions, apples and yams to be delivered there from Baldor, a produce supplier with whom we regularly work. A
n anonymous donor also delivered significant food to East Orange in the IFPO name, for which we are very grateful.
This past Wednesday, April 22, the CFB made the second delivery we coordinated to the City of Orange of over 6 tons of USDA and SFPP food, including chicken, cheese, spaghetti, tomato sauce, soup, orange juice, grits, farina, and chicken chili. CFB also delivered over 10,000 pounds of warehouse food we had requested for Orange, including cannellini beans, corn, mac and cheese, canned mandarin oranges, canned peaches, pancake mix and canned mixed vegetables.
We are so appreciative of
Parkwood Diner of Maplewood
, who generously provided 50 hot chicken dinners in our name for the Orange Police and DPW workers who continue to unload the CFB trucks and deliver the food to the town.
Thanks to Michelle
Retick for picking up and delivering this generous contribution to Orange.
In addition, we continue to work overtime to provide for babies in our
Diaper Program. We have ordered 100 cases of diapers from a sourced supplier, along with diaper cream, wipes and toilet paper. As soon as they arrive (expected early this week), we will directly deliver most of them to diaper clients. These clients will also receive:
----bags of food contributed by two local food drives in South Orange/Maplewood and Short Hills, for which we are so incredibly grateful. These drives, put together in two days, gave us over 100 very full bags of food to distribute to clients in need!
----produce bags with sweet potatoes, flour, apples, carrots and bananas, ordered by us from Baldor and put together by a great team (see photo below).
We continue to provide continually updated information for clients on our
whenever we become aware of other food sources, as well as to answer questions on the IFPO phone line. We have directly delivered food to a number of clients when we were made aware of emergency situations, including to a client with 4 children whose husband passed from this terrible disease.
We encourage you to visit our
for continually updated information from the IFPO about our operations.
We continue to profoundly hope we are able to resume full operations shortly. As was recently well said: I
t might say IFPO is closed when you go on our website, but that is just our physical location...our team is working harder than ever!
We wish you and your families continued good health
and safety during this time of uncertainty.