In 2011 with the blessing of our Mission Council God’s Co-Op Pantry was established to respond to our neighbor’s basic need to adequately feed themselves and their families. We provided approximately 1,200 bags that year; by 2019 that number has grown to 3,972! Our clients represent three primary demographics, residents of Ridge Oak, veterans living in the VA housing complex, and underserved individuals living primarily in Bernardsville. Percentage wise, our largest growth in 2019 was from the veteran population.
Our goal is to provide healthy and basic food items for all our clients, and we have tailored the bags to meet the specific needs of each group. The sources for the food we distribute are the Community Food Bank of NJ, direct purchases from ShopRite, food drives, and individual donations (both food and cash).
Twice a month, usually on a Wednesday morning, our food allocation from the Community Food Bank is picked-up by volunteers, delivered to the Pantry, and stocked on the shelves. This task takes a few hours, requires an SUV type vehicle and strong arms! We very much are in need of volunteers to be added to our call list of those who can help us with this.
The work of the Pantry is administered by a Team of 12 volunteers, 9 of whom are BRPC members. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity to serve please reach out to any one of us at church, or by using our contact information in the directory. We love to share the Pantry story!
~Janet Bentley, Sue Brewer, Karen Cokewood, Evelyn Drake, Florence Henry, Karen Morrison, Anne Pinto, Sally Speakman and Suzanne VanLoon.