Montclair, NJ – To celebrate their 40th year in existence, Human Needs Food Pantry (HNFP) is doing what they’ve always done: feeding, clothing, and caring for the people of Essex County and its surrounding towns. Few organizations in the area have a longer and more distinguished track record of helping those in need. Even in the face of pandemic-related challenges, HNFP demonstrated unwavering commitment by continuing all food distribution outside despite the summer heat, winter cold, rain, and snow.
In 2021 the organization served over 5,100 adults and more than 1400 children. That equates to over 580,000 pounds of food (>22,300 bags) throughout the year. This included a variety of meats, fresh fruits, bread and rolls, vegetables, and a broad range of grocery products. Canned vegetables, soups, sauces, pasta, rice, canned tuna & chicken, hot and cold cereals, and much more were given out each week. Also available to clients are nutritional supplements, diapers, wipes, feminine products, and personal hygiene items. Volunteer drivers deliver bags to over 250 homebound clients each week as well.
Additionally, the pantry regularly offers medical screenings provided by staff from Hackensack UMC Mountainside Hospital. Clients may be tested for high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. One on one counseling with a dietician is offered, with an emphasis on nutrition and healthy cooking.
Despite its warehouse location, HNFP helps people from multiple geographies. In fact, the 5 major service areas, in order, are Bloomfield, Montclair, The Oranges, Belleville, and Irvington. In addition, they find themselves reaching further, helping clients from other counties, including Bergen, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Union, Somerset, and more.
Yet, regardless of where clients come from, one thing is as true today as it was 40 years ago: all are treated with the utmost dignity and respect—in other words, as human beings.
Of course, this level of service and caring is only possible because of the incredible support and generosity of donors, both individuals and groups. The Human Needs Food Pantry receives no government funding.
According to HNFP Executive Director Michael Bruno, “We are thrilled to reach this important milestone and grateful to be able to serve the most vulnerable members of our community; those struggling with food insecurity. The next 40 years starts now.”
HNFP will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary with a series of events throughout the fall. Please visit http://www.humanneedsfoodpantry.org for details on all upcoming events, as well as information about how to donate.