Grace Beyond Our Doors in Northfield, Atlantic County has remained open through hurricanes, snowstorms, and most recently, COVID-19, knowing that emergencies are when the community needs them most.
“People are hurting. They’re looking for some relief. We’ve seen it through bad weather, and we’re seeing it now. That’s why we make sure that, whenever possible, we open up,” said Ruben and Amy Marrero, Pantry Directors.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, they gathered healthy volunteers together and pivoted their operations to hold monthly contactless drive-through distributions.
Grace Beyond Our Doors initiated its commitment to serving South Jersey neighbors in need more than two decades ago in its founder’s home before moving to the Community Church of the Nazarene. Normally, the agency provides both groceries and hot meals to its visitors.
“I’ve seen people do without,” said Ruben, who was deployed during his 23 years of service in the U.S. Army. “I’m glad that I’m able to give back to the community based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve learned.”