Chatham’s Pop-Up Pantry Needs Non-Perishable Food Donations


CHATHAM, NJ – “Take what you need, leave what you can,” is the motto of the Chatham United Methodist Church’s Community Pantry.

Now the pantry, a 24/7 essential food source in the area, needs to be restocked.

Chatham Borough Council President Carolyn Dempsey, who was one of the helping hands who ran Wednesday’s community food distribution in Chatham, was one of two members of Chatham Borough Council, who recently spoke about the need for food donations.

“There is still food insecurity in Chatham that we continue to address,” said Dempsey. “Thank you to the community for their generosity and we encourage you to continue to be generous to those who are still struggling.”

Councilor Len Resto, who had previously spoken to Patch about Chatham’s community food distribution through the United Methodist Church, where he also volunteered, addressed the audience with Dempsey during the last borough council meeting on how to help.

Resto, who had said that Patch Food Drive donations tended to decline during the summer months, also thanked residents for their recent donations during the last drive, especially non-perishable foods and items from toilet.

“Toiletries continue to be one of the things we really need,” Resto said.

Soaps, shampoos, feminine hygiene products, deodorants and other toiletries, he said, are expensive and not covered by food aid programs. Those who struggle to make ends meet, Resto said, must instead pay out of pocket for them.

“As long as we can get those donations,” Resto said of the toiletries, “it allows people to use their vouchers for food, instead of using money for food. these high-priced products “.

“Please keep it up,” Resto said of the donations. “We appreciate it and thank you for your donation.”

At the last Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market, The United Methodist Church had a stall where they accepted non-perishable items and financial donations.

About the 24-7 Pop-Up Pantry

The pantry, which began helping those struggling with food insecurity due to the pandemic in March 2020, with plastic shelves outside the church doors, has grown to fill two sheds behind the church, which are accessible to help those in need of food at any time of the day or night.

Recently, the pantry has run out of some non-perishable supplies and could use the public’s help with canned protein like tuna, turkey, chicken, ham, and other types of fish. Peanut butter, all varieties of canned beans, dried beans and lentils, canned vegetables and canned tomatoes, including pasta sauces, were other needs. Cooking oils, baking and pancake mixes, flour, sugar, condiments, pancake syrups, and packaged snacks are others.

The pantry also accepts and needs baby diapers and wipes, diaper creams, liquid and bar soups, toothpastes, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, cans or shaving cream bottles, disposable razors, mouthwash bottles and deodorant.

The pop-up pantry is well stocked right now and doesn’t need macaroni and cheese; canned cranberries, pumpkins and yams; and chicken and tomato noodle soups.

Accepting baby food and infant formula is difficult because they often expire before they can be dispensed, so the pop-up pantry doesn’t really encourage these types of donations, according to their website.

The pantry also does not need adult incontinence items at this time.

The pantry cannot take: fresh or frozen meats; dairy products; eggs; frozen foods, bagged bread, homemade products, things that have been opened or not individually wrapped; and expired items. The Pantry receives donations from Panera Bread and Chatham Bagel and may receive perishable items, provided they are sourced and delivered by a local store or business.

They also cannot take household items, clothing, furniture and toys.

How you can help the CUMC Community Pantry:

  • Via an online donation, click here and choose “CUMC COVID Relief / Community Food Distribution”.
  • Shop here for items from the Pantry Amazon Wish List, which also designates high priority items.
  • Mail checks, written for the “Covid Relief Fund” in the memo line to: Chatham United Methodist Church, 460 Main Street, Chatham, NJ 07928.
  • For more information on the Community Pantry, click here.

How to give to other food partners:

  • Donate here for a box of produce (choose “Covid Relief / Food Distribution), distributed to those in need during the Chatham Wednesday Food Distribution.
  • Click here for more information on Helping Hands of Chatham, which provides gift cards to grocery stores, families in need of a helping hand with groceries.

RELATED: Fresh Food, Shelf-Life Items Needed For Chatham’s Pantry

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