The Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges (IFPO) is a “client choice” food pantry that provides supplemental and emergency food to low-income residents of Orange and East Orange, NJ. IFPO is an all-volunteer collaborative effort of four religious congregations in Short Hills and South Orange, New Jersey—Christ Church, Congregation Beth El, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, and Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel. The pantry is housed in the Church of the Epiphany & Christ Church, Orange.
IFPO is one of only a few food pantries in New Jersey that offer client choice. This means that our guests have more of a grocery store experience, where clients are allocated “points,” based on family size, to select their own food, rather than receiving a pre-packaged bag of groceries. This process encourages healthy choices while also serving clients with dignity and respect. Under this system, clients do not receive food that they don’t like or cannot eat for health or personal reasons.
Click for detailed information on IFPO’s client choice program.
In 2016, IFPO has been averaging nearly 200 clients per week. In 2015, there were 7,000 visits to the pantry, which assisted 23,000 individuals. Nearly 40 percent of our recipients are children. IFPO has been serving residents of Orange and East Orange for 20 years, growing tremendously from a small group that initially served 20-30 clients per week.
Thanks to an Alleluia Grant from the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, IFPO purchases fresh fruit and/or vegetables weekly. IFPO also offers toiletries once a month through a matching grant from the Good People Fund. Clients greatly appreciate this option, as personal hygiene items are not eligible under SNAP (formerly Food Stamps).
IFPO assists new parents through a Diaper Program, distributing diapers, wipes and diaper cream monthly to 100 babies. This program is sponsored by funds from the Bass Foundation and Susan Sommer Fund for Social Justice and the National Diaper Bank Network, which distributes diapers to low income families. The IFPO Diaper Program is a tremendous help to families, as diapers and baby care products are also ineligible under SNAP and WIC (Women, Infants & Children).
The pantry serves the most clients of all MEND pantries. MEND, Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity, is an interfaith coalition of 18 Essex County food pantries. MEND’s anti-hunger network has been providing emergency food to people in crisis since 1980. IFPO benefits from MEND’s bulk distributions of food and Summer Hunger Busters program.
IFPO is fortunate to have many additional local partners. Our partners include groups such as AeroFarms, The Bass Foundation, BCB Community Bank, Chapman and Cutler LLP, CIT, Farm & Fork Society, The Good People Fund, Goldberg’s Famous Deli, Investors Bank, JAG Physical Therapy, Junior League of the Oranges & Short Hills, Kings, National Diaper Bank Network, Newcomers & Neighbors of Short Hills & Millburn, “Maplecrest Moves Charities” from Maplecrest Ford Lincoln, Maplewood Middle School, Mindfulness Meeting Place, Panera Bread, ShopRite, Summit Medical Group Foundation, the Susan Sommer Fund for Social Justice, the Walton School, Whole Foods Market West Orange and the Winston School. The World Wide Orphans (WWO) visits us weekly to bring their Element of Play Toy Library, a program developed to bring psychosocial change and rehabilitate communities in areas of extreme poverty and disaster
We are always seeking new partners, new volunteers as well as donations of food and/or money. Please click for more information on how you or your organization can get involved.
The Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges is an approved 501(c)(3) charity. IFPO is a completely volunteer organization and has no paid staff. Almost all donations are used to purchase food. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.