Our volunteers support hungry people in New Jersey in various ways. We have individuals and groups who visit our warehouse to sort food, pack supplemental senior boxes, prepare Kids Cafe meals and work in our thrift store.
We also have volunteers who dedicate time offsite, including those who help out at our mobile pantries. These volunteers serve our hungry neighbors outside during all weather conditions, providing them with food and a smile.
On a chilly spring day, we had newcomers and longtime volunteers at our Trinitas Hospital Pediatric Pantry in Elizabeth. They unloaded and organized food on tables in the parking lot of Mount Teman AME Church. While setting up, the number of people waiting in line continued to grow.
It was Joanna’s first time volunteering at a mobile pantry. As she helped organize the food, she told us she “expected a lot of people to show up” – and she was right.
She is grateful for the opportunity to help, 18-year-old Joanna added.
His tenth time at the mobile pantry, 22-year-old Jonathan said he likes to volunteer because of the difference his work makes.
“The best part about volunteering here is that you actually see your work going towards somebody,” he told us. “You’re physically interacting with the people that are going to benefit from your volunteer work.”
Mary Jane has been involved in many of the community’s hunger initiatives. She’s been volunteering at the mobile pantry in Elizabeth for a few weeks and has been working at the one in Paterson for years.
“Hunger is a basic need,” she explained, and that’s why she finds volunteering at mobile pantries so fulfilling.
One of our longtime mobile pantry volunteers, Marian, has been helping at our Newark and Elizabeth sites for nearly eight years. She told us she is known as the “meat lady” because of her station at the pantry.
Along with dedicating two days a week to our mobile pantries, Marian also supports the hungry in her community with help from her parish; she serves food and meals to homeless people through Operation Walmart.
“Volunteering helps me feel like I’m doing something constructive,” Marian told us. “I’m helping those in need. I’m not looking for anything back.”
Learn more about our volunteer opportunities here.