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January 20, 2016
On January 20, Girls Helping Girls. Period. visited the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges and shared a years' supply of feminine hygiene products with more than 80 of our clients. GHGP was founded to help women and girls in need not only deal with getting needed supplies, but dealing with a monthly burden. By donating a full year of tampons and pads to each person they help, they offer a valuable gift. In fact, a years' supply of products costs women $70-$85 on average.
Girls Helping Girls Period was founded by Emma Joy, 15, Quinn Joy, 12 and their mother, Elise Joy of South Orange. While the ladies have had a lot of fun since starting GHGP at the end of 2014 by far distributing products is the best part.
"A teary eyed woman hugged me and told me I had no idea how helpful the supplies are,” said Elise. “But I do know. And I'm so proud my daughters and I can make a difference in such a meaningful way."
GHGP is always accepting donations of new products and monetary gifts and if you'd like to help you can read more about their work or make a donation at www.GirlsHelpingGirlsPeriod.org
IFPO teen volunteer helps a happy child select new Christmas gifts. IFPO distributed new clothes, gifts household items, as well as a ShopRite gift card to 10 client-families with urgent needs. These families would not have Christmas without outside support. Families were matched with donors though MEND's (Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity) “Help a Family at Christmas Program.” If you are interested in sponsoring a family for Christmas 2016, please contact Cyndy for details.
Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges recieves a $5,640 Alleluia Fund Grant from the Episocpal Diocese of Newark to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables in 2016.
Diane Stein accepts $2,500 on behalf of IFPO from New Jersey Association of Justice at Women’s Litigator’s Luncheon
IFPO volunteer, supporter and certified meditation and mindfulness instructor Anne Sussman created the Mindfulness Meeting Place, offering meditation services. Anne is generously donating a portion of her proceeds to IFPO! For complete information, visit her website http://www.mindfulnessmeetingplace.com.
A special thank you to Emma and Quinn Joy, and their mother is Elise, for completing their second 1,000-can challenge! They are a wonderful family who brings much “Joy” those they assist with their strong commitment to helping others. IFPO is thrilled to partner with you.
January 18, 2015
Melissa K Completes IFPO’s 1,000 Can Challenge!
Melissa, a West Orange resident, decided to do something special for her birthday. Instead of throwing a party or going out to lunch, she looked online for a place to volunteer and asked to take a few hours off from her job as the Administrative Assistant in Department of Math and Computer Science at Seton Hall University. While searching online, she came across the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges and reached out to offer her time. Before even getting to the IFPO, Melissa picked up a donation of end of day bagels from Goldberg’s Deli in Millburn, which she brought to the Food Pantry. At the Food Pantry, Melissa helped to sort and put away donated food, set up and pack bags with non-perishable food, some fresh produce and donated baked goods. She also helped hand out the filled bags to close to 195 food-insecure clients from Orange and East Orange, while offering each guest a smile and some kind words.
During her morning of volunteering, Melissa heard about a teen volunteer who had envisioned and competed a 1,000 Can Challenge - collecting 1,000 cans of food in a short period of time. The large shipment of food had arrived at the IFPO the morning Melissa volunteered. As Melissa works most Wednesday mornings when Food Pantry takes place, she asked what else she could do to support the efforts of the IFPO. The idea of creating another 1,000 Can Challenge was raised and Melissa thought it was reasonable task. Over then next four weeks, Melissa asked friends, family, businesses and co-workers to contribute to her own 1,000 Can Challenge.
When asked what had motivated her to volunteer at the IFPO and to complete the 1,000 Can Challenge, Melissa replied, “When I was a child, my mom was forced to be on public assistance. To spare us any social humiliation in town, she would take us several towns over to shop for our monthly allotment of food. I was raised to believe, socially, that public assistance is wrong and you should be ashamed. I decided to witness for myself, the various types of people who need assistance. Putting a face on this broke my heart. Memories of food rationing came flooding back. This is the main reason my sister and I keep way too much extra food on our shelves and in the freezer. I couldn’t leave on Wednesday, knowing I would not be able to return for a while, without being to help in another way. The 1,000 Can Challenge was perfect. This experience was humbling and I am grateful the people I served were so welcoming to me. This experience was my pleasure.”
January 9, 2015
Student Essay: First Experience at the Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges
Theme: “Man for Others”
I can clearly remember a time where I feel I acted as a man for others. Recently my mother took me to volunteer at the food pantry. The food pantry was located at the Church of the Epiphany in South Orange. Since it was my first time helping I was apprehensive because I didn’t know anyone or what to do.
I could tell as soon as I walked in that I would have a busy day. People were running around in every direction trying to get things set up. It was about 9:30 in the morning and the clients would be arriving for food by 11:00. I knew people would be coming in shortly so I got to work as soon as possible. I was on bagging duty. There were rows of paper bags setup all around the room. I was given a list that had all the things a single bag needed, things such as canned corn, pasta, and soup. I filled up bags one item at a time. Once I finished putting all the items in the proper bags, I checked to make sure my work was completed correctly. Finally, my bagging came to an end.
However, as soon as I sat down someone came hurrying over to me and asked me to get the bread from the back and help put it into the bags. There were a few people wrapping up the bread, but there was still a heap of bread that lay on the side. I heard someone call to me, “7 pieces a bag”, and the work began again. I stood bagging bread for longer than I could remember but eventually when I looked over to grab another loaf, I saw only one and I quickly bagged it up.
As I walked out of the back room I noticed that all the necessary work had been completed. Before anyone had arrived for food, one of the main coordinators of the food pantry made sure that everyone understood that the people coming in should be treated with respect. She said, “Just because they are coming in because they need the food to survive, doesn’t make you better then them. They are no different from any other people; they just need a little help.”
The people began to come in for their food. As I joined the line to help hand out bags, I was happy to see all of the hard work everyone put in come together. I was pleased to see how appreciative people were to be given food. Everyone said thank you after being given food. It was nice to be part of something bigger then myself, being able to help feed people was a great experience.
As I rode home from the food pantry, I felt good inside and very humbled. I was so proud in that moment to be a part of the food pantry because I knew we were doing something great. I felt fulfilled by the day’s work and all the aches and pains disappeared from my body. I could tell the people who were receiving food were grateful and the looks on their faces made my day. I was glad to be providing help and service to those who are less fortunate.
This experience made me appreciate that it is important to support those in need. I am truly thankful that I have food and do not have to wait in line for it to be given to me. I know what I did was a small effort, but it impacted other people’s lives. Being able to feed someone for the rest of the week is a big deal. I look forward to helping out at the food pantry again.