A proud member of the MEND network of food pantries
 Thank you for all your support in 2017!  
smiling girl
As 2018 begins, we are so thankful for all the incredible support that the IFPO received this past year. 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 your time, contributing to food and toy drives, providing goods, offering physical help and granting us financial support. We are so incredibly grateful.
We were able to provide food, personal hygiene products, toiletries, winter coats, hats and gloves, medical screenings and more to an amazing 29,680 
residents of Orange and East Orange this past year. In total, we served 1,625 seniors, 12,830 children and 15,225 adults. Fully 43% of the clients we serve are children. There were 11,183 total visits, a 26% increase from 2016 (and 2016 visits had increased 18% over 2015). 
CAN you provide CANs in January? 
can can sale
Purchasing food for IFPO at ShopRite's Can Can Sale is a fantastic way to help your food-insecure neighbors! 
The annual four week Can Can Sale at ShopRite features vegetables, beans, canned tomato products, and soup for considerably less than what we can purchase them for anywhere else, including 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 pantry). 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 and Christ Church of Short Hills) or brought to our host, Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church, during pantry hours. 

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 the 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! 

* The corn we purchased in December from CFB cost us 54 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 costing less than at CFB, these items are often not available at CFB when we want to purchase them. For example, our clients are very fond of peas, which we can rarely purchase. In December, we also purchased (among other things) beans, tomato sauce and yams, all now on sale at SR, directly from SR as they were not available to us from CFB. 
Innovative Diabetes Program at the IFPO 

Program Offered at the IFPO Aims to Help Eradicate Diabetes Among NJ Adults with Incomes Below Federal Poverty Level

The I FPO is proud to be a participant in "Food, Health & Hope: An Answer to Diabetes", an initiative of Summit Medical Group Foundation  and The Community FoodBank of NJ (CFB). Twenty-eight per cent of the people served by the CFB are estimated to have a household member with diabetes. Individuals who tested positive for pre-diabetes or diabetes through a free medical screening at the IFPO were then offered the opportunity to enroll in this special program. These clients are given nutrition counseling and medical education, further medical screenings, and twice a month they 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. The program will study whether providing this healthy food, education and medical screenings will impact people's health. 

The 42 clients currently enrolled in this program are delighted to be part of this initiative. One program client joyfully told us that, as she is currently unemployed, receiving this food from the program means that she can make good nourishing meals that are better for her health. 
diabetes program produce

Our program clients received bananas, sweet potatoes, onions and cabbages as their produce allocation in early January. 


resourceful client uses diabetes produce for healthy meal
Our resourceful and grateful client combined provided cabbage, g reen beans, quinoa, brown rice medley and cream of celery soup for a colorful and healthy meal. 
Creamy chicken soup made from provided chicken chunks and produce.
Doesn't this client-made chicken tomato soup, made with provided ingredients, including onions and red and green peppers, look great for a healthy winter meal?  
Holiday Thank Yous 

We are thrilled to have been able to furnish groceries, the "fixings" for a holiday meal, as well as hams or tilapia to 385 members of the Orange and East Orange communities at our Dec. 20 Holiday distribution. It was a spectacular morning, as told by a client in an email IFPO received that night that gladdened all our hearts:

Another amazing note we received said, in part: 

"We want to take the time to sincerely thank you for your generous hospitality, support and food donation to our family throughout the years. We greatly appreciate the Christmas toys! Our children will be excited to receive their Christmas presents.

It is with the support of the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges, volunteers and donors that we are able to put food on the table while working to put a roof over our heads. It is such a wonderful blessing to have an organization such as yours in our community to help struggling working families like ours". 

This distribution 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 amazing generosity this season funded a large portion of our very large food bill for the holiday distribution. The Foundation also provided hats, gloves, and fleece blankets for our clients this holiday! 
Hats and Gloves from the Bass Foundation

Fleece blankets in the Holiday bag

Our partner Farm & Fork Society, who fundraised on our behalf and then provided 900 pounds of produce to add to our holiday distribution! They also gave us 60 dozen eggs in January, which our clients loved.

Karen Feldman and The Company Store for major support enabling our purchase of holiday hams and fish.
Ben Olitsky with holiday hams and fish

Summit Medical Group Foundation, whose continued support of the Farmers Market initiative meant that our 385 Holiday clients received fresh rainbow carrots, potatoes, onions, cabbages and bread/pastries.


Onions for Xmas
We're so appreciative of the efforts of the 
Community FoodBank of NJ, who ensured that all that produce arrived early on Wednesday. 
Our Holiday Toy Distribution was an amazing success!
For the first time, we asked for new toys to ensure that none of the IFPO children would go without a new toy at Christmas 2017. We were stunned by the astonishing response to our Amazon Toy Registry, as more than 1,000 toys were sent directly to our drop location. The overwhelming generosity of our community, including each individual as well as the many groups that held toy collections for the IFPO, meant that we were able to offer each client not the 2 toys we planned but 3 toys of their choice. We are so humbled and incredibly grateful.

We were also able to donate new toys to be handed out by our host Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church thanks to the donations of our supporters. Those toys enabled their  members to also give new toys to their own families. 
Zach Levine runs the Swamp Devil 5K for the IFPO.

Special thanks to Zach Levine, age 12, who raised over $1,000 to purchase toys for the IFPO by running the Swamp Devil 5K. That was 77 toys donated for our clients! 
Pride Products Toy Drive 2017
Pride Products  of Springfield, NJ had a toy drive where the company matched every gift that each employee donated, donating 70 toys together to the IFPO.

JAG Physical Therapy Toy Drive
Some of the toys from the drive held by our partner JAG Physical Therapy

Most popular toys: while different clients loved different items, and it was amaxing to be able to offer them these choices, we're told the greatest hits were basketballs and (surprising to us) board games!  
Rent a helper truck

Mover Richie Chavez of  Rent-a-Helper Moving & More donated his time and truck to move more than 1,000 toys donated through the Amazon Registry to the IFPO. 

Richie Chavez
Once those toys arrived from Amazon to our delivery location, they were boxed and organized into categories like "baby dolls" and "balls" by the IFPO's Kristin Sterling and her sons, which made our holiday distribution work smoothly.
Winston School toy delivery
The Winston School of Short Hills 8th grade class delivered fabulous toys when they came for their monthly volunteer day in December. 

Toys were also delivered by Points Group (Chris Hofstetter), our partner  Clarity Refractive Services, and 
Eagle Martial Arts (EMA) Boonton.

SMGF in ront of Maplecrest van

We love our fabulous and fun partner Summit Medical Group Foundation, whose toy collection was delivered by our terrific partner Maplecrest Moves Charities. Among those donated toys were medical kit toys that were quickly swept up by clients so their kids could "play doctor"! 

Medical kits

Our partner Investors Bank collected 300 toys, games, jewelry items, purses, play dough, and craft kits for the IFPO. Car not included! 
investors toys (and a dog)
Dog not included! 
TSTI prime connections toys
Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel (Prime Connection and congregants)  and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun  ( Mitzvah Mountain Chanukah Toy collection)  held toy collections.

B'nai Jeshurun toy collection

So thankful to all those who recently donated 
food, diapers, winter treats for clients, and more 
Claire Sinclaire diaper drive
Claire Sinclair again held a Diaper Drive to support the IFPO, collecting an amazing 10,000 diapers, as well as wipes and diaper cream, from the South Orange and Maplewood communities. That's enough for an entire month of diapers for our clients!

We also received diapers recently from a Drive held by 
Core Fitness Veracity, Summit, and were glad to have owner Leonardo Munoz and their strong member volunteers supporting us at Pantry in January. 

We need 10,000 diapers each month. We accept new and unopened packages of diapers (especially in larger sizes 4, 5 and 6), as well as leftover, open packages of diapers.

Abi of Arturo's
Our partner Arturo's, located in Maplewood Village, not only makes fabulous food, they contribute to the community as well. Each month they bring us both fresh vegetables and volunteers. Assistant Manager Abigail "Abi" Eshmamzh brought carrots and red onions in January. 


TSTI seventh graders making soup for IFPO
The 7th grade religious school class of Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel made muffins and soup that were distributed to IFPO clients.  That same group later stuffed 46 pairs of brand new socks with hot cocoa mix, candy and tissues which we distributed to clients. 

fruit baskets
The  Jam-e-Masjid Islamic Center prepared 30 fruit baskets that we distributed for the holidays to our workers and members of the Church staff who support our pantry efforts every week. 
elks December delivery of 40 cases
Orange Elks Lodge No. 135 donated 40 cases of much needed pantry staples, including peanut butter, jelly, soup and beef stew that will help keep the cold away this winter. Pictured here: Exalted Ruler Jim Bolan, Trustee Fred Ludd and member Chris Busold. Thanks to Trustee Rich Reinhardt, Elks National Foundation Chairman, for delivering!
Kalb family mkes gift bags for the ifpo
The Kalb family created gift bags full of winter accessories and toiletries for our clients at a family Chanukah party. Our diaper Moms were delighted with this special gift. Reach out to us for ideas if your family or group would like to do a service project to benefit IFPO clients.  

Melissa Litwin made American girl ponchos to sell to benefit IFPO
Melissa Litwin crocheted American Girl doll ponchos, and sold them for a donation to the IFPO. What a lovely way to help your neighbors.

Hands donation
We were very touched by a donation from the leadership team at HANDSa neighborhood change non-profit working in Orange and East Orange, NJ. Having volunteered at our pantry, they wanted to support our work. IFPO Board member Peggy Baggaley accepts the donation from Robin Gordon and Dawan Alford. 
End Hunger 3.6 - Weekend/Family Volunteer Event 

End Hunger 3,6 IFPO team
On Saturday, March 10, the IFPO will again join with the Madison Rotary at Drew University in Madison for End Hunger 3.6, preparing meals which will go to numerous food pantries and shelters in New Jersey, including IFPO and our food pantry network, MEND. Prior RSVP and a $25 donation per family is required. This is a great activity for families (children 10 and above), groups and for those who can't participate in weekday pantry events.

Photos from our 12/20 Holiday distribution
registration team
After lining up outside, clients are ushering into the Sanctuary and checked in by our awesome registration team.

Registration teams

picking out hats and gloves
Clients got a chance to chose hats and gloves donated by The Bass Foundation.  

with hats and gloves

setting up toys, with Pamela Goldberg of SMG
Meanwhile, toys were staged at the front of Parish Hall. Our elves were Pamela Singer of Summit Medical Group Foundation, and Jonathan Sterling (who ensured all the balls were fully pumped)!

Our elves ensured all the basketballs were fully pumped!

Peggy Baggaley Holiday thanks
An overview of the main room as Peggy Baggaley thanked our volunteers and donors.

We had close to 100 volunteers helping to make this a great day for those in neighboring communities. 

filling the regular bag
Cases of food brought into the IFPO in the previous weeks were 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 served this day gets each of the items going into those 2 bags. 

loading the regular bag
Boxes of  "regular" groceries sat waiting to be loaded into bags: pasta sauce, pasta, canned chicken, pancake mix, peanut butter, green beans, corn, milk, SpagettiOs, chicken soup, black beans, and tins of holiday cookies. Donated bread and pastries brought in by the Community FoodBank of NJ that morning were added to that bag as well.
overhead holiday view
The green "holiday grocery bag" had instant mashed potatoes, 2 boxes of mac & cheese, hot chocolate, canned pineapple, cranberry sauce, candy canes, a fleece blanket and produce.

Shirley Gordon and Client
Once bags are filled, clients were brought into Parish Hall to get food bags, choose toys, and choose between a holiday ham or fish. One of our special regular volunteers, Shirley Gordon, seen here escorting a client.

Janet Schwamm and Matty Goldberg
Another special regular volunteer, awesome Matty Goldberg, with IFPO Board member Janet Schwamm. 

toy distribution
Choosing toys. 

clinets choosing baby toys
And more toys. 

toy distribution
Happy parent and child after choosing toys.
choosing toys
Toys ranged from baby toys through toddler toys and up to teen gifts. Board member Kristin Sterling (in the IFPO tshirt) did an amazing job setting up the Toy Registry and organizing the toys as they came to the drop location.
holiday hugs
And after the selections, hugs for our fabulous volunteer escorts.

mayor's aide with IFPO leaders
Louis Copeland, Aide to Mayor Warren, with some of our IFPO Board members.
We mourn the passing of Dr. Lucille Groden

Dr. Groden with Peggy Paggaley and Cyndy Wyatt
Dr. Lucille Groden, 83, beloved community member and favorite client of the Board, workers and volunteers of the IFPO, died on Dec. 24, 2017. Born in Trinidad, where she earned her nursing degree, Dr. Groden received a masters of social work in England and a PhD from Seton Hall. She resided in East Orange and Orange for more than 50 years. She served as a nurse for more than 35 years at East Orange General Hospital, was in charge of their nephrology unit and served on the Hospital Board. A true Renaissance woman, she was also trained as a midwife, rode a motorbike, earned a black belt in judo, played tennis, bowled and was certified to fly small planes! 
She endeared herself to those of us at the IFPO with her cheery smiles and appreciation for the time we spent with her. She baked for us and repeatedly brought us little dollar store presents. When she was no longer able to come to the IFPO, Board members Cyndy Wyatt and Peggy Baggaley continued to visit her at home, in rehab, and in a nursing home, with compassion and concern for her welfare. She slept till her last days with a blue bear we sent with flowers when she first entered rehab. We will miss and remember her. 
Interfaith Food Pantry 
of the Oranges