Mobile Pantry Brings Food to Those in Need

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RIO GRANDE, N.J. -

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey has several facilities located throughout the state, but some areas in South Jersey aren’t very close to one of those locations, making it difficult for those in need to put food on their table.

So, the food bank has created ways to reach these people in need.

Dozens of people lined up in a parking lot in Rio Grande (Cape May County) Friday morning, March 10th, to pick up their monthly food items. For these folks, getting to a food pantry isn’t possible, so the Community FoodBank of New Jersey brings it to them.

“It’s not fancy, everything is stripped down, but we get the food out and we definitely feed a lot of families,” said Tonya Smith, who is the Mobile Pantry coordinator of the Food Bank.

This Mobile Pantry is on the road visiting several spots in Cape May and Atlantic counties throughout the month of March.

“[There are] very impoverished areas and they also have a lot of seasonal work," said Smith. "So, you have people out of work from September to June, basically with either unemployment or zero income. So, that food is necessary, it’s very necessary as you see with our lines."

Even through rain or snow, the crew of volunteers never stops assisting the hundreds of people in those lines.

"It makes me happy to help people who are in need,” said Samantha Adelman, a volunteer with the Mobile Pantry. “It’s really fun, even if the weather is not."

Despite having to wait outside in the unpleasant weather on Friday the clients couldn’t be more grateful.

“I’m temporarily unemployed and this is helping out a lot,” explained "Jim," of Cape May Court House.

“They’re just beautiful people,” said Joanne Howlett, a client of the Mobile Pantry.  

“When you’re on a fixed income it comes in handy,” said Louise Fletcher, another client of the Mobile Pantry.

“I’ve come for the last couple of years, every second Friday," said Frank Bove, another client from Cape May Court House. "I count on it. They have some good stuff. I stock up on all my vegetables and fruit for the month; it gets you by really good.”

If anyone is interested in volunteering or looking for the Mobile Pantry’s schedule, check out the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s website. They hope to expand the Mobile Pantry’s coverage area in the near future to serve even more people throughout South Jersey. 

“Realize that, yes, in your town people need help eating, and if we can get in there and help we are happy to do it," added Smith. "And if you want to come and volunteer, we love that even more."

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