CHATHAM, NJ - Each Wednesday, the Chatham United Methodist Church at 460 Main Street in Chatham Borough holds its weekly food drive. 

Despite the local economy slowly coming to life, unemployment remains....and will remain for some time to come. We are in desperate need of donations to feed our Chatham brothers and sisters who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in need of nutritional assistance.

An example of one individual who came on July 1st is a woman who has been a cafeteria worker at an area corporation and believes she will not be called back until next year. In addition, the fund for ShopRite gift cards will run out on July 15th. Each ShopRite gift card is $25.

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Assisting in the drive is Chatham Borough resident Joann Carroll of the “Helping Hands of Chatham” along with Borough Council members Carolyn Dempsey and Len Resto. 

The faith leaders of all Chatham congregations are assisting.  July 1st was the eighth Wednesday in operation and the need continues to grow. We have had as many as 42 boxes of produce donated to as little as 15 on Wednesday, July 1st

We had a record high 43 cars show up for food on July 1st. With the exception of three senior citizens, the balance were people who have been laid off from their jobs. Their children qualify for the federal school lunch program which is SUSPENDED for the summer. Despite running out of produce no one was sent away empty-handed. We had bread, bagels, ShopRite gift cards and canned goods.

Thanks to those who continue to donate to the Helping Hands of Chatham and the various faith congregations to make this drive possible. How can you help?

  1. Boxcar is making it easy to donate a box of produce plus eggs & milk. The link is: A box of produce plus milk & eggs costs $40. The produce consists of 5 lbs. each of potatoes, onions, and tomatoes.  Also included is lettuce, blueberries, carrots, oranges, apples, and a cantaloupe. We thank Chatham residents for their donations and ask for your continued generosity. It takes a village and Chatham is a GREAT village. Please consider donating for Wednesday, July 8th. The cut-off for the 8th is Noon Friday July 3rd, For next week's drive, the Chatham United Methodist Church will match the first 5 boxes donated. If you donate more than one box, you need to donate each box individually or you may call April Kabbash at Boxcar at 508-527-0329 and she will process your donation manually.
  2. You may donate checks for ShopRite gift cards. You can make a check out to Joann Carroll at 14 Red Road, Chatham 07928 and mark it "Shop Rite Gift Cards". Or, you can make a check payable to the Chatham United Methodist Church and mark it "Food Drive" and mail it to UMC, 460 Main Street, Chatham 07928
  3. There is a Pop-Up Pantry in the back of the church in the parking lot. Canned goods and items that do not need refrigeration can be donated. We could also use toiletry items such as soaps, shaving cream, deodorant, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc. We've had many residents donate such goods by leaving them on my porch at 35 Center St. in the Borough. We especially thank those who donated Pampers, diapers, toiletries, detergents, etc. Every little bit helps.

Until we return to pre-Covid "normal" there will be a need; so any help is greatly appreciated.