Father English Emergency Food Pantry in Paterson, Passaic County has seen an exponential increase in the number of families turning to them for food assistance since COVID-19 struck—from about 5,000 per month before the pandemic to more than 22,000 per month.
In addition to maintaining pantry operations while implementing social distancing and providing hand sanitizer, they have also been delivering food to nearly 800 senior citizens per month twice a month.
“We’ve been delivering food so that seniors don’t have to come out and risk getting sick,” said Carlos Roldan, Food Pantry Director. “They’re already scared, and we don’t want them to also be hungry.”
The agency, which is run by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Paterson, is normally a choice pantry, but for the health and safety of the community, they’ve instead been providing pre-packed bags of fresh produce, meat, and nonperishable items to help those in need through this difficult time.
Since the start of COVID-19, Father English has distributed more than 1 million pounds of nutritious food!
“This is when the community needs the food pantry the most,” Carlos added. “Nobody should be hungry.”