Free Food & Services

Free Food & Services

Find a food pantry near you and explore the free services that can help you and your family.

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Apply for Snap Food Assistance

Apply for Snap Food Assistance

Get free help applying for SNAP and accessing the benefits available to you and your family.

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Job Training

Job Training

Sign up for one of CFBNJ’s free job training programs that can prepare you for a career in the culinary or logistics industries.

 

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Healthy Recipes

Healthy Recipes

Healthy recipes, cooking videos, and tips are all here. Browse through the info provided by our Nutrition Education team to get the most out of your grocery budget without compromising on nutrition.

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Donate

Donate

Learn about all the ways to give a monetary gift, including recurring donations, planned gifts, tributes, and more to CFBNJ to lift up our neighbors.

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Volunteer

Volunteer

Explore the many opportunities to volunteer – whether that is packing food with your company, family, and friends at either our Hillside or Egg Harbor Township locations, distributing healthy food at one of our partners, or making phone calls from the comfort of your home.

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Advocate

Advocate

Take action to support our advocacy efforts that address the root causes of hunger and learn more about how CFBNJ collaborates with legislators.

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Fundraise

Fundraise

Coordinate a virtual or in-person fundraiser with friends, family, or coworkers.

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Donate Food & Goods

Donate Food & Goods

Over one-third of our food is donated by generous supporters like you. Set up a food or special product drive, join our retail food donation program, and more.

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Make a Corporate Donation

Make a Corporate Donation

Manufacturers, retailers, corporations, and small businesses can donate food, funds, and time.

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Events

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Attend a CFBNJ event to show your support and meet other like-minded supporters.

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Youth

Youth

Opportunities for youth engagement includes fundraising, food drives, and service days.

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Sign Up to Volunteer

Sign Up to Volunteer

Sign up to sort and pack food with your company, family, and friends at either our Hillside or Egg Harbor locations.

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Corporate Groups

Corporate Groups

Use your next company outing to give back to your community.

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Special Volunteer Programs

Special Volunteer Programs

View the opportunities available for regular volunteers to level up their participation at CFBNJ.

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Youth

Special Volunteer Programs

Opportunities for youth engagement includes fundraising, food drives, and service days.

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About Us

About Us

Discover how our journey began almost 50 years ago, and how we are committed to ending hunger in New Jersey.

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Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

Explore the roadmap of the future of CFBNJ and how we plan on helping hungry neighbors going forward.

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How a FoodBank Works

How a FoodBank Works

Understand how food and hygiene supplies get from our two warehouses to your community.

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Leadership

Leadership

Meet our executive leadership team and Board of Directors.

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Annual Report & Financials

Annual Report & Financials

Get a clear picture of our finances, how our programs impact the community, and how it all ties together.

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Careers

Careers

Check out our career opportunities and don’t miss a chance to put your talents to work for a great purpose.

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News & Press

Keep up to date with the latest news about our work to end hunger.

Keep up to date with the latest news about our work to end hunger.

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Our Locations

Locations

We have locations in Hillside and Egg Harbor Township, each with their own events and volunteering opportunities.

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Our Programs

Learn about what we do to help our neighbors in need.

Learn about what we do to help our neighbors in need.

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What’s the Difference Between a Food Bank and a Food Pantry?

What’s the Difference Between a Food Bank and a Food Pantry?

What’s the Difference Between a Food Bank and a Food Pantry? 1280 550 CFBNJ

New Jersey is home to hundreds of food pantries and five food banks, three of which (including the Community FoodBank of New Jersey) are members of Feeding America’s national network. The question becomes – if there are only five food banks but hundreds of food pantries, what is the difference between a food bank and a food pantry?

What is a food bank?

A food bank is usually a warehouse that stores food and other necessities such as hygiene products that will later be allocated to area community partners like local nonprofits, nutrition and warm meal programs, and food pantries.

Those community partners then distribute items from the food bank to those in need. To better understand how a food bank works
, think of it as essentially a bank, but for food and necessities. A food bank stores food and supplies for safe-keeping and does not serve the public directly, unless there is a pantry attached to the food bank.

Food banks often hold millions of pounds of food at a time, though the size and volume of the food bank will vary from place to place. CFBNJ’s warehouse, for example, is 285,000 square feet, the size of 5 football fields with the ability to hold millions of pounds of food and necessities at a time.

Food banks source the food and necessities that go to community partners through the following partnerships:

  • Grocery stores
  • Local and national companies and retailers
  • Individual donors, both nationally and the surrounding community

A food bank can gather the food directly from their sources or receive support to raise the necessary funds to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins, shelf-stable items, and hygiene products such as period supplies and diapers. You may find even more convenient opportunities to donate to the Food Bank via the check-out at your local grocery store, at your school, or in your local community.

Just as food banks work with the local community to gather resources, they also partner with local food pantries, nutrition and meal programs, and other like-minded organizations to distribute the supplies they have gathered. Pantries within CFBNJ’s service area can become community partners and participate in food bank programs, such as our gleaning direct program, that enable them to efficiently source their food and necessities through the food banks at higher quantities and lower costs.

What is a food pantry?

Food pantries are distribution centers where the public can go for food and hygiene product assistance, serving as a direct line to families and individual clients in need. Essentially, a pantry is a community center for the public, where those in need can either receive food directly or shop around as they would in a grocery store, also known as a choice pantry. CFBNJ serves over 800 food pantries in New Jersey.

Serving as a center for community food in urban and rural communities, pantries come in all shapes and sizes:

  • Mobile pantry on wheels
  • A part of a specific food bank, church, school, college, homeless shelter, or community center
  • Nutrition and warm meal programs, such as soup kitchens or even a residential house.
  • Independent pantry that relies on other sources such as donations from church members or government and corporate grants.

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach as food pantries fight against hunger in New Jersey.

How does someone qualify for food assistance at a food pantry?

Community members can qualify for food assistance by contacting a local community pantry, as each will have its own set of rules and regulations. If you or someone in your community needs food or hygiene product assistance, you can review our partner agencies to
see if there is a local food pantry or nutrition and meal program near you.

How you can help your local community

If you want to get involved with CFBNJ in the fight against hunger and food insecurity, join one of our many volunteer programs or give a monetary gift today!

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