WEST ORANGE, NJ - Danielle McClean and Mary Ellen Morrow, members of the Clubhouse Committee at Eagle Ridge, recently dropped off several bags of groceries at the Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry. While they were there, Cynthia Cumming, Food Pantry Administrator, showed them the food pantry areas and storage rooms, explaining how the program worked. The food pantry relies on donations of food and monies, as well as grants, to stay open.
The pantry is also a member of MEND (Meeting Emergency Needs With Dignity, a non-denominational offshoot of Catholic Charities) and the Community Food Bank in Hillside, where they not only purchase food but receive state and federal food each month. Cumming thanked Eagle Ridge residents for the donations and asked that, for March, toiletry items could be collected since they are not provided in either state or federal funding, but would serve a need for the people who utilize the pantry. The pantry provides food for approximately 400-500 people per month.
"West Orange has been an incredibly generous community," noted Cumming, "we would not be open if it wasn't for the generosity of the West Orange communities and organizations, along with the Food Bank."
Desired items include: diapers, body care facial wash, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, lotion, paper products- toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, aluminum foil, household cleaners; pet food and supplies, and monetary donations.
After a tour of the food pantry, the committee members were brought in to see the church's Thrift shop. The Thrift Shop is open every Thursday between 10-3 and Saturdays between 10-1. There were excellent finds including children's books for ten cents each and many new items, including gifts and clothing. There were also Easter motif items and toys. All toys have been washed with TLC by Mary, the Thrift Shop manager. Mary has taken this project on as her personal mission and it certainly shows it. She can describe every item in the store. There are some great treasures at bargain prices and all the proceeds cover utilities and overhead at the church, which also runs a soup kitchen each Saturday between 12-1. If you're not interested in buying, you can also donate your used and unused items to help them.
The Holy Trinity-West Orange Food Pantry also asks that if you know a West Orange resident or family in need of food, or have items to donate to the Thrift Shop, that you contact Cynthia Cumming, Food Pantry Administrator, at 201-341-9217, or email her at Heidlercumming@aol.com. The food pantry is open the last two Tuesdays and Fridays of the month between 9-1 and the last two Mondays of the month between 6-8. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church is located at 315 Main Street, West Orange.