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JFCS Mobile Food Pantry Delivers to Seniors, Children & Families – Reaches Almost 350 Individuals in First Month

Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County [JFCS] has been out on the road for a full month and served its first clients through the JFCS Mobile Food Pantry.

The JFCS Mobile Food Pantry brings the experience of a food pantry directly to individuals who experience significant obstacles accessing existing resources located in Mercer County whether it is due to a lack of transportation options, physical mobility limitations or language barriers to existing services.

On February 11, the Mobile Food Pantry visited Holy Apostles Episcopal Church in Yardville, NJ. That evening the church served a free, hot dinner prepared by the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK). As the guests arrived, they were greeted by JFCS staff and volunteers helping to explain the Mobile Food Pantry.

Staff and volunteers provided checklist sheets to the dinner attendees who were able to select their preferences within food categories – dairy, fruit, vegetables, protein and grains – and quantity of each product based on their household size. Wegman’s of Princeton generously provided 1,000 reusable bags for JFCS Mobile Food Pantry patrons. JFCS was able to provide groceries to 25 individuals at Holy Apostles, benefiting over 40 total people based on reported household sizes.

The Mobile Food Pantry made its second stop on February 20 at Better Beginnings Child Development Center in Hightstown, NJ. With the Mobile Food Pantry parked in the Better Beginnings parking lot, a team from JFCS, including staff and a volunteer fluent in Spanish, helped the parents navigate the grocery selection process. In a little over 2 hours, staff and volunteers packed bags of groceries for 57 families – representing over 250 total people served. A majority of those served represented households of 4 or more family members.

“Transportation is often an issue for some of our parents and having the resources here on-site is a huge help to them,” said Luz Horta, Executive Director of Better Beginnings. “We appreciate the consideration JFCS has given to the selection of foods provided, which are nutritional, healthy, and culturally diverse. Our mission is to provide a high-quality affordable early learning childcare program to low-income working families. Through the JFCS Mobile Food Pantry our families now receive the resources for multiple meals, free of charge. Every bit helps them keep food on the table during difficult times.”

 On February 27, the Mobile Food Pantry stopped at Wheaton Pointe, a low-income senior housing facility in East Windsor, NJ. Residents had the opportunity to make selections to their personal tastes from the products on the truck. JFCS was able to provide groceries to almost 50 individuals at the stop.

The Mobile Food Pantry has already received significant recognition for the impact of this initiative.

6ABC Action News (WPVI-TV Philadelphia) was on-site to capture the Mobile Food Pantry in action at Better Beginnings. The JFCS Mobile Food Pantry will be featured in their “NJ Proud” segment airing on Sunday, March 15 during the morning show, 6 – 8 AM.

At the JFCS annual fundraiser, Casino Night, held on March 7, the agency highlighted the Mobile Food Pantry as the Beacon of Hope. The event welcomes almost 400 community members including representatives from founding corporate sponsors of the truck, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Church & Dwight, Lennar, NRG Energy and the Wawa Foundation.

Most recently, the Mobile Food Pantry earned national recognition as the winner of the Network of Jewish Human Service Agency’s 2020 Annual Conference Pillar of Excellence Award in the Innovation category.

For the month of March distribution stops are currently planned for Redding Circle, an affordable housing development in Princeton, NJ and return visits to the first three locations to start their monthly schedule.

Roll the Dice with JFCS! Casino Night is back!

JFCS Casino Night

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Hyatt Regency Princeton, 102 Carnegie Center Princeton NJ 08540

Join us for an exciting evening of casino gaming, derby races with live betting, raffle prizes, hors d’oeuvres and open bar all night!


2020 Honorees:

Helping Hand…Lois Miller

Partner in Healing ….Berkshire Bank

Beacon of Hope … JFCS Mobile Food Pantry


Dietary Laws Observed – Catering Provided by Classical Caterers

Below are the links to sponsor forms:

Click here for individual purchasing options.

Interested in Sponsorship packages? Click here!

Unable to join us? Make a donation in honor of the agency or one of our honorees!

OR download our event form to see all options to support Casino Night.

Sponsors, Donors, Community Leaders and More Gather to Celebrate the Mobile Food Pantry

Almost 100 guests joined JFCS Board and staff members as the agency debuted the Mobile Food Pantry to supporters on January 30.

Those in attendance were able to tour the truck and preview the client experience. Michelle Napell toasted the supporters gathered and thanked all for their cooperative effort in getting the Mobile Food Pantry on the road.

Those in attendance included local leadership – Mayor Janice Mironov of East Windsor and Denise Daniels, East Windsor Council Member; Marygrace Billek, Director of Human Services Mercer County; Louise Rush, Director, New Jersey Division of Aging Services; Peter Crowley, President of Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber; and Jeff Vega, President & CEO Princeton Area Community Foundation.

The Mobile Food Pantry became a reality through the support of corporate and individual founding sponsors who collectively donated over $335,000 towards the purchase, customization and stocking of the Mobile Food Pantry for its first year on the road. Representatives from several of the corporate supporters including Firmenich, NJM Insurance, Lennar Homes, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Church & Dwight, and the Wawa Foundation attended the launch event.

Both corporate and individual sponsors of the Mobile Food Pantry will be invited to volunteer at a distribution stop. The first distribution stops are scheduled in February at locations in Hamilton (Yardville), East Windsor and Hightstown with more being finalized.

               

JFCS hopes to utilize the truck to encourage more corporate volunteer and community engagement opportunities. Businesses can sponsor an individual distribution stop or become a named sponsor with logo placement on the truck for one year. Sponsorships include the option to use the partnership as a team building or employee service day by volunteering at a distribution stop. Supporters who commit at $5,000 or above will have the name and/or logo added to the truck for display. The Mobile Food Pantry also opens JFCS to the opportunity to park at local grocery stores or community partner locations to host a food drive to “stock the truck.”

If you’re interested in sponsorship or volunteering opportunities for the Mobile Food Pantry, contact Helaine Isaacs at HelaineI@jfcsonline.org or 609-987-8100 Ext 104.

                

Our Thanks to Founding Mobile Food Pantry Sponsors:

Ruth and Martin Clayman

Fran & Larry Sucharow Philanthropic Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation

JFCS Women’s Alliance

The Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation

Firmenich

Pat and Ray Schlaefer

Abrams Foundation

B Creative 

Church & Dwight

Kaia, Owen and Avery Janofsky

Mercer County

The Wawa Foundation

The Bank of Princeton

Bristol Myers Squibb 

Bobbi and Barry Freedman

Danielle and Jeremy Perlman Family Fund

Jacqueline and Joel Goldfinger

Richard Goldfinger

Jill and Gregg Jaclin

Lennar Homes 

Nexus Properties

Novo Nordisk

NJM Insurance Group

NRG Energy 

NOSH & KNOWLEDGE: ORGAN DONATION

DATE: Thursday, January 23 at 12:30 p.m.           

LOCATION: Congregation Beth Chaim (329 Village Road East, West Windsor)

DESCRIPTION: Rabbi Brian Beal will explore texts both ancient and modern relating to the Jewish views of organ donation.  A kosher lunch will be provided by Greenwood House and there is a requested donation of $5.00 per person. You may also bring your own kosher-style lunch. 

RSVP: is required by 1/17 to Beth Englezos at bethe@jfcsonline.org.

This program is sponsored by Congregation Beth Chaim, Greenwood House & JFCS.

JFCS & THE BETH EL SENIORS CLUB PRESENT: SELF-DETERMINATION IN OUR GOLDEN YEARS!

DATE: Thursday, January 16 at 1:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Beth El Synagogue (50 Maple Stream Rd., East Windsor)

DESCRIPTION: Are you prepared for the critical decisions down the road? Whether you are working with your aging parents or preparing for your own future, it is critical to understand what documents to have in place. Everyone deserves to have their wishes respected when it comes to healthcare and quality of life in your golden years. Beth Hammer, a geriatric care manager at Jewish Family & Children’s Service, will walk us through what documents are key to ensuring your intentions are communicated with caregivers. 

RSVP is required by 1/10 to Beth Englezos at bethe@jfcsonline.org or call Beth El Synagogue at 609-443-4454. 

This program is sponsored by Beth El Seniors & JFCS.

Nosh & Knowledge: Israel!

Description: Israel…the Modern Nation-State.  Israel…the homeland of the Jewish people.  Israel…the fulfillment of the biblical promise.  Join Anne Berman-Waldorf as she examines the beauty, the complexity and the nuance of our relationships with Israel.

A kosher lunch will be provided by Greenwood House and there is a requested donation of $5.00 per person. You may also bring your own kosher-style lunch. 

Date: Thursday, December 19th at 12:30pm

Location: Congregation Beth Chaim (329 Village Road East, West Windsor)

RSVP is required by 12/13 to Beth Englezos at bethe@jfcsonline.org or 609-987-8100, ext. 126.

This program is sponsored by Congregation Beth Chaim, Greenwood House & JFCS.

JFCS & Beth El Seniors Present: Celebrate Chanukah!

Description: Join special guest Rabbi Jay Kornsgold for a fun pre-Chanukah celebration.  Rabbi Jay will speak about the miracles of Chanukah as well as the debate on whether there should be a menorah on government property during the holiday.  You can take part in a gift exchange by bringing a wrapped gift costing between $6-$10.  We will also enjoy special refreshments for the holiday! 

Date: Thursday, December 12th at 1:00pm

Location: Beth El Synagogue (50 maple Stream Road, East Windsor)

RSVP is required by 12/9 to Beth Englezos at bethe@jfcsonline.org or 609-987-8100, ext. 126 or call Beth El Synagogue at 609-443-4454. 

This program is sponsored by Beth El Seniors & JFCS.

Job Opportunity: Mobile Pantry Truck Driver!

The JFCS Mobile Food Pantry Truck will be bringing the resources of the JFCS brick-and-mortar pantry to distribution sites in Mercer County beginning January 2020!  The truck (16-feet) will be a healthy-choice food pantry that will help those most in need in Mercer County. We are seeking a responsible part-time driver (15- 20 hours per week; some evenings) with a good driving record to drive the truck as well as to help with stocking and food distribution. 

For more details, see description here

An Evening with Rachel Levy Lesser

Description: Local Author Rachel Levy Lesser discusses her newly released book and reflects on the significance and sentimentality of accessories she acquired throughout her life.

Date: Thursday, December 5th at 7:00PM

Location: Shir Ami (101 Richboro Rd, Newtown)

Wine and dessert reception $36 per person – Register here: https://app.mobilecause.com/form/aAIj-g?vid=1yo36

**Registration includes free copy of the book!**

More Info: Eden Aaronson at 609-987-8100 ext. 113 or EdenA@jfcsonline.org