Thanksgiving 2019 Helps Nearly 2,500 People in Need
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 2500 people. Our first clients were on line at 2:30 am!
We are beyond thrilled to have been able to furnish groceries, the "fixings" for Thanksgiving (like cranberry sauce and gravy), roasting pans, pies, produce, turkeys and coats to more than 550 registered clients at our Nov. 27 Thanksgiving distribution. We also provided coats and more to an additional 100 members of the Orange and East Orange communities.
This would not have been possible without the efforts of so many fabulous volunteers who helped out at Pantry Prep on Nov. 24 and at the November 27 distribution event, and the very generous support of our many donors and our Thanksgiving Sponsors, to whom we are so incredibly grateful.
In addition to those noted below, we particularly would like to thank the following groups and individuals without whom this would not have been possible:
The Community Foodbank of New Jersey, who allowed us to purchase 250 turkeys and assorted food at way below market cost, made possible so much of the food we distributed through their partnerships in the federal USDA and State SFPP programs, and delivered and provided all the produce distributed on Wednesday. The Community FoodBank of NJ brought us cases of water, and a truckload of fresh produce, including apples, oranges, strawberries, onions, celery, sweet potatoes and cabbage.
A very special thanks to ShopRite of Bloomfield (Brookdale). Owner Neal Greenstein, Manager Mark Wyckoff and Bloomfield Catering manager Gino Rios have been tremendously helpful extending us discounts and special delivery to make this holiday possible.
The Bass Foundation's continued generosity allowed us to provide 500 clients with Sara Lee apple pies. The Bass Foundation also contributed significant additional funds so we could purchase needed food items.
We so appreciate Kings Supermarkets donating 100 turkeys to this event for multiple years.
We also distributed more than 60 amazing pies like the one pictured above that were directly donated to us from their school pie sales by families from South Mountain Elementary (South Orange), Glenwood and Hartshorn (Millburn) schools.
Although we have been a client choice pantry for 3 1/2 years now, for the enormous Thanksgiving and Christmas distributions we give out pre-packed bags.
The "regular" grocery bag held beef stew, peanut butter, steel cut oats, rice, tomato sauce, 2 mac and cheese, tuna fish, milk, beans - and a turkey pan. Each client would receive 3 reusable bags.
The produce plus bags held onions and fresh sweet potatoes, and a fruit selection that could include apples, oranges and fresh strawberries. Outside, many clients also received either cabbages or celery.
The Holiday Bags held gravy, cranberry sauce, canned peaches, pumpkin, currants, and 2 each of instant potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, and green beans. Cookies from Squirrel and the Bee were an added treat.
Thank you also to those who held food drives to support our Thanksgiving distribution, including:
Thank youto the JLC Gesher Tikkun Olam program from our partner Congregation Beth El for hearty snack bags given to our day care food participants.
Thank you to the Nasberg-Abrams and Pressel families and friends for making snack lunches has become a lovely pre-Thanksgiving tradition. This is the fifth year this event has occurred. Our clients are happy to have a quick nosh available after a long morning at our Thanksgiving distribution.