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
Coronavirus Impacts IFPO Operations
covid 19
Although our physical pantry is not open, we continue to work tirelessly and extensively with our partners MEND and the 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.

---- East Orange :

Since our last update, 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. An anonymous donor also delivered significant food to East Orange in the IFPO name, for which we are very grateful.

---- Orange :

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.

--- Other efforts :

A joint effort between the IFPO and MEND ensured a produce delivery by Baldor to the I Have a Dream Foundation in Newark.

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:
----hygiene products from our partner Girls Helping Girls.Period;
----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 website and Facebook page 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.

--- Conclusion:

We encourage you to visit our Facebook page 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.
Our amazingly awesome Diaper Angels Team directly delivered diapers (contactless and curbside) from the  The Community FoodBank of New Jersey   and  Children's Aid and Family Services  to 57 clients representing 74 babies so far.
Diaper teams in action
Ros McEvoy delivers diapers
Registration team member Ros McEvoy making a contactless diaper delivery to a client. We are awaiting delivery of 100 cases of diapers we've sourced to make more deliveries this week.
client accepting food delivery
Direct deliveries of food were and are being made as needed to clients in East Orange by the IFPO Board.
Mayor Green
Mayor Green and Rita Butts on site in East Orange on 4.17 to receive the first EO food delivery from the CFB,
Jodi Cooperman in EO
IFPO Board member Jodi Cooperman helped coordinate the EO delivery.
pallets of EFBs
Pallets of Emergency Food Boxes from CFB, delivered 4.17.
CFB delivery in Orange
CFB was in Orange before 8 am on 4.21 to deliver over 15,000 pounds of non-perishable items along with fresh eggs, chicken, orange juice and so much more!
Jen Miller and Maplecrest Moves in EO
Thank you to Maplecrest Moves Charities from Maplecrest Ford Lincoln of Union for allowing Jen Millers to help us bring a pallet of food plus to East Orange on 4.21.
loading the Maplecrest van
The Maplecrest van delivery to East Orange 4.21. Thanks to Rita Butts and the East Orange DPW for helping us unload the van!
Baldor delivery to EO
Produce brought in by IFPO to East Orange.
Rita Butts organizing in EO
Organizing the produce and food for distribution to East Orange.
SH neighborhood food drive
Some of the groceries gathered at two fantastic recent neighborhood food drives. These bags provided us with food for emergency deliveries to clients and others who contacted us. Many will be used shortly as we make contactless diaper deliveries.
produce bagging
Socially distanced produce bagging!
Sandy French I have a Dream
IFPO Board member Sandy French assisting produce delivery to I Have a Dream Foundation,

We are so grateful to the food pantries of Holy Trinity Church, West Orange; Our Lady of Sorrows, South Orange; and Joi's Angels, East Orange for the food they have made available to our clients at this challenging time.

We thank the Hindu Cultural Cente r in East Orange, who reached out to us to donate food (we asked them to assist Isaiah House, our MEND partner, who provides shelter and support to the community's most fragile members).

Our always incredible partner Summit Medical Group Foundation gave us 100 amazing fabric masks for our clients.

Our partner The Bass Foundation is sponsoring a one month supply of diaper deliveries to 20 families.
Ways to Help

--- Haitian-Creole and Spanish Speakers needed:

A number of our clients speak Haitian-Creole, and a significant portion of this group (mostly elderly) cannot read and write. We would like to create as backup list of Haitian-Creole speakers who we can contact if we need to make phone calls. They do not need to be former IFPO volunteers! Please email us at if you know anyone who might help.

We are also looking to have a list of additional Spanish speakers. Please email us at if you speak Spanish and might be able to make calls or otherwise help with distributions.

--- Masks needed:

If you are sewing masks, or know of anyone donating fabric masks, the IFPO is looking to source several hundred for distribution to clients, those in need of our services, as well as for use by our volunteers and others assisting us. Email us at  

--- Going to Costco?

We are in need of a constant stream of t-shirt bags for food distribution.
Email us at

Please know that w e would never want anyone to offer to help in any way that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe, especially in the current environment. For in-person volunteer opportunities we will ensure that all work is done with appropriate social distancing guidelines and a very limited number of volunteers.
We're still posting tons of pictures on Facebook as the IFPO continues in action. Follow us there to see all the great weekly happenings!
The Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges is an equal opportunity provider.