Watch Now: Meet the CEO Webinar with Q&A

Last month, CFBNJ hosted a public webinar with a Q&A opportunity for Elizabeth McCarthy, our President & CEO. Watch to learn more about the direction of our organization, our strategic plan, and more!

Viewers were given the chance to ask questions, but we didn’t get to all of them! You’ll find more, along with answers, below.

Thank you to everyone who attended and who has watched the webinar since! We’re grateful for engaged community members like you.

Over the past several years there has been a significant number of senior staff turnover. This is detrimental to the operations of partner agencies. What is being done to ensure that the CFBNJ team members are retained and new members are attracted?

The pandemic presented hiring and retention challenges not only to CFBNJ but to many organizations across all sectors. There are especially challenges hiring for jobs that require in person work and travel, as these roles do.
We now have a stabilized Network Relations team in place and are optimistic about the road ahead. We are in the process of implementing strategies aimed at attracting top-notch talent, retaining our existing staff and enhancing overall employee engagement to make sure there’s a more consistent and effective support system for our partner agencies. Staff have been telling me that the culture is starting to reflect these efforts and they have greater job satisfaction.

I know it is challenging to have to start over with a new team member so we appreciate your patience and partnership. I look forward to meeting you in person!

Will CFBNJ try to include the various languages on the forms that we need to use and on Oasis? 
Oasis has a kiosk mode, that allows neighbors to enter their own information into Oasis. That can be done in English or Spanish currently, and hopefully, other languages soon.
Additionally, CFBNJ is working to translate other documents in:
Spanish (some sign-in doc’s already in Spanish; others will be translated)
Haitian Creole

With the “FOOD and” program (as discussed in the strategic plan), is there a way we can fund a pharmacy of some kind especially for seniors to get much needed medications like insulin? 
Using our Diabetes program as an example, CFBNJ partners with healthcare organizations to ensure that we can come together and provide vital services. For CFBNJ we bring resources such as food, connection to SNAP (to purchase food), and education (such as SNAP Ed which highlights how to utilize limited food dollars to purchase and prepare healthy food, and live a healthy and active lifestyle. For the healthcare organization, they are able to connect to needed medications and health screenings to identify and hopefully prevent disease.

As we know we are Rapidly outgrowing our facility in Hillside. We are close to our MAX capabilities and are looking into options. Is there a possibility of another satellite facility, maybe in Middlesex or Somerset counties?

At this time, we are conducting a full assessment of our Hillside facility and looking at all options to increase our operational capacity. We began this assessment in June and hope to have it completed by March 2024.

Why are we not getting meat?

We usually have meat on our allocations and on Agency Express when available. Meat is a highly requested item, and we do our best to keep this equitable so everyone in our network has a chance to receive meat. If you ever need more meat, please contact your Network Relations Representative to add more meat to your pickup or delivery.

How can I increase my produce donations? My distribution is short more of the 200 boxes. 
We have limited amount of produce boxes we can give out per agency to maintain equitability in the network. However, we often have other produce available. If you need more produce on your delivery and pick up, please contact your Network Relations Representative to add more.

We used to get toothpaste and toothbrushes. What happened?  
HABA (Health and Beauty) is available by donation. Our Food Sourcing team works diligently to find donations for these products. When available they will be available on Agency Express

In regard to produce, will milk be added to the delivery list of items? 
Perishable items like fresh milk are often available. We do not put perishable items on Agency Express due to the quick distribution turnaround time for these items. To know what perishable items we will have for your availability, please call your Network Relations Representative at least 4 days prior to your pickup or delivery to go over what perishable items will be available.

What is the turnaround response on partnership status? 
Partnership can take anywhere from 2-3 months. To get an update of your partnership status we recommend you reach out to the Network Relations Specialist (NES) in your county.

How can I meet with partner/collaboration team?  I am looking into partnership. 
Awesome! Please reach out to the Network Engagement Specialist in your county to talk about partnership with CFBNJ.

I work with a network of local growers and producers in Newark, NJ. What is the best way to connect with the food bank to start a partnership? 
If you are looking to provide food donations to CFBNJ, please contact Gleny Herlihy, Director of Food Sourcing. Her email is

When will we find out about turkeys? And ThanksgivingFoods.
CFBNJ Network Partners should have already received your Turkey confirmation calls by the week of 10/13. If you have yet to receive this information, please contact your Network Engagement Specialist for an update.

Can we expect more food staples such as butter, sliced cheese, juice etc. in our monthly allocations? 
Our team is working diligently to have frequent access to these items. When available they will be on Agency Express and your monthly Allocations.

I have a Saturday pick up, when I order food on Wednesday the most time is spent when I pick up. 
Our warehouse team works very hard to ensure all orders are picked in a timely manner. Sometimes due to things like staffing constraints and the volume of orders on Saturday it can cause delays in our picking process. We are working internally on the best way to improve this for a more positive experience for our partners.

As a big Reentry Corporation, we service anywhere from 1,000 to 1,200 families monthly and our supply was cut due to the need to sign up for a specific government funded program. However, how will communication be improved to inform organizations of this size when there are changes to paperwork needed to continue to service the number of families we serve?

We have implemented things like weekly Network News, email/call blast for important updates, and Activity Status alert updates on Agency Express that provide updates. If you have questions on reporting, please contact one of our Compliance team members to discuss what reports are required. Please also reach out to your Network Engagement Specialist to discuss client’s needs and how CFBNJ can support further.

Interestingly, some pantries are throwing away bread, while some pantries don’t have any bread to share. What are the criteria for distributing bread to pantries?  
If you need bread, please contact your Network Relations Representative to discuss. Please note, our bread pallets may not be just bread but will have other items like pastry. These items are by donation and will only be available if we receive donations.

Any plans to offer SNAP assistance in Morris County?
We do provide SNAP outreach in Morris County. Our Morris County area Manager is Akeera Weathers ( and partners can reach out to her to discuss bringing programming to their location.

I recently received a webinar about SNAP and SNAP Navigator Program. How is that a resource to our pantry site?
SNAP (formerly food stamps) is the best defense against hunger. Ensuring our neighbors participate in SNAP and other benefits allows neighbors to purchase their preferred food and utilize the emergency food system less. Having SNAP Navigators at a pantry to assist neighbors with the SNAP application and answer their questions will benefit the neighbor, community, and pantry.

What happened to the previous president? 
Please email Karen Leies at if you would like to discuss this further.