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Food Pantry Now Serving More Than 50 Families

Number of households in Caldwell and West Caldwell using pantry has more than doubled from a year ago.

The number of households served by the Caldwell Food Pantry has more than doubled in the last year.

The pantry has seen approximately 53 families come through its doors at 14 Park Ave. in Caldwell in the past month. That number is up from 20 a year ago, according to Department of Human Services Director Maria Burak.

“As soon as the food goes in, the food goes out,” Burak said.

The food pantry distributes non-perishable food donations made by the community to residents of both Caldwell and West Caldwell. The greatest need is for cereals, juices, kids snacks, coffee and tea.

Recently, the two farms at the Caldwell Farmers Market have agreed to donate fresh produce to those in need. Burak has provided a small number of families with vouchers which they present to the market manager, Douglas Piazza, a Caldwell councilman, in order to get vegetables free of charge.

Piazza urged the community at Tuesday night’s council meeting to support the farmers who are giving back.

“They are turning around and supporting us as a community,” Piazza said.

Tamara Bross of Caldwell’s Human Services Department said the reason the local food pantry can help so many families is because of its commitment to keep clients' identities confidential.

"If we weren’t anonymous, we wouldn’t be able to help as many families. They wouldn’t come. I really believe that,” Bross said. “These kids do go to school with my kids, they live on our streets in Caldwell and West Caldwell."

Bross said that the pantry does not ask for financial information, but does require proof of residency.

Meanwhile, it’s not too early to be thinking about Thanksgiving, Burak said. Residents are asked to donate canned cranberry sauce, canned and dried potatoes and stuffing. Packages, which will include turkeys, will be provided to families around the holiday.

Food pantry hours are Monday, 4 to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Thursday, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Frank M. October 13, 2011 at 10:42 AM
What a great program! Helping our own local friends and family is what makes the Caldwells such a great community and place to live!
Cj October 13, 2011 at 02:22 PM
I think this is great you are helping the residents of Caldwell. Maybe other residents that can afford it can drop off a bag to help the pantry. I just hope its going to legal residents of Caldwell that are hurting
El Paoli October 13, 2011 at 04:50 PM
Having people & organizations getting together in the community to help others that need a hand up IS commendable... SHOW U REALLY CARE FOR YOUR " NEIGHBOR" Lovin' yur neighbor as yourself, don' t give yur leftovers, GIVE your 'BEST'. I believe in a higher power that is watching how we treat each other! If u can't love <3 your fellow man How can say u love GOD.
Giokas April 10, 2012 at 04:51 PM
is there way to donate time to help put "packages" together?
Teresa Akersten (Editor) April 10, 2012 at 07:19 PM
@Giokas If you are interested in volunteering your time at the Caldwell Food Pantry, you should call 973-403-4623.
Giokas April 10, 2012 at 09:09 PM
thank you

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