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
The IFPO is now a “USDA pantry”

In August, the IFPO became a participating pantry in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), a federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans. The Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFB) distributes food purchased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for TEFAP to participating pantries each month. This food is provided at no cost to us, and often includes items like rice, dried & canned beans, pasta, boxed milk and peanut butter. This frees up IFPO funds to purchase fresh produce, toiletries, diapers and other needed items. On August 14, when we served 330 clients, we were delighted to provide frozen fish and cheese as protein choices, when the CFB was able to deliver our 6600 pounds of USDA products early that pantry morning! This free USDA food is in addition to free food we receive each month from the State of NJ’s SFPP program (2500 pounds also delivered by the CFB this month). We also purchase food each month from Shoprite as well as the CFB (the latter at below market cost but often limited in quantity and availability); purchase produce from Baldor; and receive donations of food from Cath olic Charities and at times other sources.

The logistics of becoming a USDA Pantry that serves as many clients as we do each month were complicated. Rita Pignatelli led the charge for our awesome Registration Team to enroll all our clients in the program. John Scott & the Carpenters Club prepared “P4”, a small pantry room upstairs next to the stage, to separately house USDA food as the program requires. Board members took training classes about the program, and worked with the CFB to determine how we could manage our allocation and get all that food to pantry. We are excited about the prospect of being able to provide more of the products our clients want and need each month, as we strive to both manage the delivery and storage logistics, and to coordinate this program with our commitment to ensuring our clients have more fresh, healthy fruit, vegetable and protein choices.

In the months to come, you may see that the choices offered at each client choice station may be different than what we have provided in the past. We might, for example, bring in fewer one pound boxes of pasta (an inexpensive commodity for clients who want it to purchase on their own), as we can now get two pound bags of USDA brown and long grain rice for free. We may offer fewer dessert items, even if we can get them for free from the CFB (we never pay for dessert) because we'd rather use the storage space for the dried beans clients really want.

Thank you to Scott Burghart of Metro Shelving , who not only provided shelves for P4 at a wonderful price for us, but came to pantry to ensure they were solidly installed!
shelf fixer Metro Shelving
usda pantry
Summit Medical Group Foundation distributes 350 backpacks to IFPO children
Smiles were abundant on August 14 in our parking lot as our amazing partner Summit Medical Group Foundation ( SMGF) distributed 350 backpacks filled with school supplies to the children of the IFPO. Every child age 4 and up who was at pantry that morning received a backpack, and families could take up to three backpacks for their school-age children. We are so grateful that SMGF is helping our children have what they need to have a successful school year. We're delighted that SMGF continues to provide our clients with general health and wellness screenings.

Diabetes Phase 2 is underway!
Diana Levy

Phase 2 of "F ood, Health and Hope: An Answer to Diabetes" (FHH) co-sponsored by our partners Summit Medical Group Foundation (SMGF) and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFB) began at the IFPO in July. SMGF provided additional free medical screenings to clients on July 17 to detect pre-diabetes, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and obesity. Fifty-eight qualified clients have now enrolled in the FHH program. This phase of the program is providing small food boxes twice a month containing whole grains and other nutritious food appropriate for people with diabetes, including canned items that are low in sugar and salt. Participants now also receive a large amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. The July 24 diabetes distribution included eggplants, collard greens, apricots, plums and kale. The two bags of produce taken home after the August 14 education class included carrots, peaches, eggplant, kale and peppers.
diabetes nutrition class
First nutrition education class.

diabets distribution
diabetes produce bags
Bags and bags of diabetes produce ready for distribution to clients.
Mountain Ridge Country Club's
Charity Day of Play Supports the IFPO
We are thrilled to be this year's recipient of almost $14,000 raised at the annual summer Women's Charity Day at Mountain Ridge Country Club. Eighty-seven golfers, a record number for an MRCC Charity Day event, participated on July 9, and 96 individuals donated to the event in all. The event was no doubt so successful because it was chaired by Jodi Cooperman, IFPO Board member , and dedicated registration team superstar and amazing golfer Kim Griffinger Wachtel, who spread the word about the good works done in the community by the IFPO. We are also very happy that a few committed new volunteers are now joining us regularly at pantry since learning about the IFPO as a result of this great day. Our gratitude to all who participated and donated, as well as to Mountain Ridge Country Club. Funds raised at this event will help support our summer HungerBusters programs and our ongoing provision of fresh fruits and vegetables to clients.
Maplecrest Ford Lincoln "Driven to Give" Event Raises Funds for the IFPO
Peggy Baggaley prepares to test drive a Lincol
Driven to give
Through the incredible generosity of  Maplecrest Ford Lincoln of Union we raised $2500 through the Driven to Give event on July 10. We had 93 drivers, with 50 second test drives, of those lovely cars.

Maplecrest Ford Lincoln of Union launched Maplecrest Moves Charities in 2017, when they recognized a need in the local non-profit community: a way to effectively transport goods. Maplecrest Moves Charities acts as a transportation link delivering goods to and from non-profits free of charge. Maplecrest Fort Lincoln has designated a customized 2016 Ford Transit and a staff member to provide this crucial service, and has assisted 35 non-profits to date.

The IFPO relies on Maplecrest Moves Charities for deliveries of fresh produce, diapers and other needed goods monthly. They are a true "partner" of ours in every sense of the word, and we are very grateful for their continual support.
Thanks to Jen Miller of Maplecrest Ford Lincoln, mastermind behind the Maplecrest Moves Charities Van and the hugely successful Driven to Give event!
Team Investors Bank
Investors Bank employees drove Lincolns and volunteered at the IFPO.

Myron, the wonderful driver of the Maplecrest Moves Charities Van, delivered 2000 pounds of produce direct from the Community Food Bank the morning of the event.

Summer Hunger Busters Distributions

Hunger Busters provides extra food to
support children over the summer while school is out

The IFPO continued our Hunger Buster program in July, providing supplemental bags to families with school-age children. Our second distribution on July 24 consisted of 30 eggs, hearty beef stew, rice, canned fruit, bananas, cereal, black beans, shredded cheese, English muffins and a 64 ounce container of fresh milk! Our final distribution on August 21 included canned pork, spaghetti, brown rice, canned beans, fruit and nut mix, and peanut butter, all from USDA; SFPP pancake mix and canned pears; and purchased ravioli, tortillas, shredded cheese, and bananas. We are grateful to MEND and Mountain Ridge Country Club's Womens Charity Day of Play for contributing towards funding for this program. We greatly appreciate Shoprite of Brookdale's supporting this and other IFPO programs through both discounts on purchases and very timely morning deliveries!
August Hunger Busters
NCJW Back 2 School Store Outfits IFPO Children
back to school store
back to school store

Thirty IFPO children from kindergarten to grade 5 participated in the amazing Back 2 School Store run by NCJW/Essex recently. IFPO children had personal volunteer shoppers helping them shop for free for a backpack which they filled with items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, sanitized wipes, calculators, shirts and pants, shoes, underwear, socks, gloves and hats. Children were also able to pick out a winter coat, a book from the Tabak & Fass Book Nook, a dictionary and a pack of school supplies. While children were being personally escorted, their parents were offered health screenings, nutrition information, blood pressure screenings and other services. Kudos to Kim Griffinger Wachtel who did a yeoman's job coordinating this project for the IFPO, and to IFPO Board Member Karyn Boosin Leit, Margery Leit and our amazing translator Gladys Ikpe for all your help. Thank you to Cathy Isaacs and James Carrow of Church of the Epiphany and Christ Church in Orange for allowing us to use the Church van when the arranged bus failed to show, and to David Leit for also stepping up as a last minute driver.
back to school store
back to school supplies
Gratitude for So Many Who Have Helped Recently with Food, Services and Other Donations
We are always delighted to supplement our stocks with donated non-perishable food that is unopened and unexpired, toiletries and diapers. For a list of most needed items, go to (we ask that you focus on whole grain, low sodium and low sugar products when you donate).
Alex Nasberg-Abrams
Alex Nasberg-Abrams asked guests to his 9th birthday party to bring peanut butter to donate to the IFPO. We agree that Alex is awesome!
catholic charities donation
We are grateful to Catholic Charities for each month's generous donation, which has recently included much needed commodities like rice and beans.
book pantry project
Thank you to Anne Quinn, who has brought books and helpers to us all summer.
books from the Book Pantry Project
As children get ready to go back to school next week, we are very thankful to the Book Pantry Project for helping to set the IFPO children up for a successful school year. As the saying goes, reading is fundamental. The quality content provided by the Book Pantry Project can help instill a passion for reading and set our kids on a path of growth and opportunity.
Christ church garden
Thank you to the Nursery School of our partner Christ Church in Short Hills for the donations of freshly picked (edible) flowers and herbs.
Millburn community garden
How wonderful to be the repeated beneficiary of the Grow a Row program from the Millburn Community garden. Got too much zucchini? We'll happily take it!
radishes from SO elks
Radishes were one of the items we received recently from the South Orange Elks Rent Party Garden, housed on the front lawn of the SO Elks. Fabulous pictures of the garden can be found here.
Worldwide orphans
Worldwide Orphans is there for the children of the IFPO each and every week. Their presence is particularly wonderful in the summer, when they are able to creatively engage the multitude of children present each week.
Bombas sock distribution
We couldn't love a company more than we adore Bombas , who regularly provides incredible socks for us to distribute to our clients.
Please think about using them if you are doing back to school shopping for your kids: they donate a pair for each pair sold!
Saritte Harel group
The Saritte Harel Realtor Team conducted a childrens book drive for our clients and came to pantry to volunteer. .
Horizon cares
Horizon Cares from Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey sent us two incredible groups of workers this summer. This photo is the June group, along with the volunteers from our partner Summit Medical Group Foundation who were there that day.
Horizons beans and peanut butter
Horizon Cares also brought us beans, peanut butter and more in July. As we are seeing heightened client volume this summer, we were particularly glad to have these supplies to replenish our diminished stocks.
Horizon Cares 7.24
Horizon Cares July IFPO team with IFPO Board member Sandy French.
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.