MEND and just concluded a very successful food drive on Nov. 19, collecting more than 250 bags of groceries, 24 frozen turkeys, and 50 bags of clothing. Donations were raised by members of the congregation and were also collected from drop-off points at local merchants (, Physical Therapist; ; ; ; Rocketship & Print; ; and South Mountain Yoga).
The items were taken on Saturday to two food pantries, one in Bloomfield and one in Newark.
"As we approached the pantry in Bloomfield, we were met by a line of people, four wide and stretching for half a block," reports Andrew Quirk. "We were told that the line started at 4.30 a.m. The need is growing every month and it was startlingly obvious."
Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity – An Interfaith Emergency Food Network — is based in East Orange, but the group supplies food to 18 pantries throughout Essex County, including in Maplewood.
MEND is Essex County’s largest and oldest network of food pantries. Last year, MEND served over 75,000 individuals, mostly families with children. It is supported by the Catholic Charities of Newark as well as 17 churches, temples and synagogues in Essex County.