Pantry shelves stocked

Officials give thanks to community groups for helping to keep Deacons Food Cupboard’s shelves filled after the holidays.

By: Rebecca Tokarz
   The Deacons Food Cupboard of the Jamesburg Presbyterian Church started the new year on a positive note.
   Pantry shelves are well stocked following two months of serving more than 100 families through its holiday programs and regular monthly food distribution, pantry officials said.
   The holiday meal program provides families in need with a traditional meal with all the trimmings for the holidays.
   Officials credit local organizations, businesses and churches with providing enough supplies and food donations to keep the pantry full for a couple of months.
   "Hopefully, it will carry us through at least March, early April," said pantry coordinator Sue Schneider-Baker.
   The Deacon’s Food Cupboard provides local families of all religions who are in need with a bag of groceries each month. Families that rely on the cupboard’s services pick up their food on the third Saturday of the month by appointment.
   Additional items such as household cleaning products or toiletries are also distributed. Emergency food and other services can be provided after speaking with the Church’s Board of Deacons.
   The pantry helped 43 families with its Thanksgiving holiday program and more than 60 at Christmas, Ms. Schneider-Baker said.
   "As it turned out, when I left on Dec. 18, 54 people had signed up, but it turned out to be closer to 65 families," she said.
   The increase was due to last minute inquires for assistance, she said.
   Ms. Schneider-Baker said the pantry is doing well thanks to the generosity of groups such as the local Boy Scouts, the Spotswood High School Octagon Club, the Kiwanis Club, the St. James R.C. Church, the First Baptist Church of Jamesburg and the House of Hope, which meets in a building near the Dunkin’ Donuts.
   In addition, the pantry is helped throughout the year by local businesses such as Mendoker’s Bakery and the Jamesburg Deli. Each has an ongoing relationship with the pantry, Ms. Schneider-Baker said.
   "I’m thankful to Mendoker’s, they have been great about donating bread products. The Jamesburg Deli, we give our people coupons to pick up milk and eggs and they send us a bill at the end of the month. They’re great," she said.
   While the pantry is well stocked, with the cold winter weather just hitting the area, the pantry could use some help to keep residents healthy, she said.
   Tissues, cough drops and Chap Stick are needed.
   "It’s something that no one remembers this time of year. It helps people get through these months healthier," Ms. Schneider-Baker said.
   In addition, the pantry could always use baby diapers, sizes 4 and 5.
   The food cupboard is normally run out of the Presbyterian Church at 177 Gatzmer Ave., but because the facility is under construction, the cupboard has moved to the First Baptist Church of Jamesburg at 15 Half Acre Road.
   For more information on the cupboard, contact the Presbyterian Church of Jamesburg at (732) 521-1711.