MEND  - Meeting Emergency Needs with Dignity
Interfaith Emergency Food Network 

Our Mission: MEND works to end hunger in Essex County by supporting our network of interfaith food pantries.  MEND provides funds, food, social services referrals, volunteers, and a forum for all member pantries. MEND advocates for policies to improve the quality of life for those in need in Essex County.
MEND always needs volunteers. Call us anytime, at (973) 266-7941.

A group of teens from the South Mountain YMCA have done a tremendous job at Our Lady of Sorrows Food Pantry, one of MEND's eighteen members.  First, they organized a food drive at the South Mountain YMCA, spreading awareness about hunger in our community. Then, on January 25th, with South Mountain YMCA Executive Director Marcia Meehan and YMCA Director of Enrichment and Teen Camps Tommy Donaldson, the teens delivered more than 1000 items to the food pantry in South Orange. The YMCA group unpacked the donated food, then helped restock the shelves and prepare bags for those in need.

Pantry Coordinator Kate Cahill said “The teens stayed long past the time they committed to in order to get the job done. They made a real impact on our pantry and we are looking forward to working together again soon!”

Here’s a link to the story on the South Mountain YMCA’s website:


Bessie Green Food Pantry at North Reformed Church is an integral part of Bessie Green Community, Inc., which provides a wide range of services to the needy in downtown Newark.

This thriving food pantry got it's start in 1979, when North Reformed Church member Bessie Green sold her fur coat and brought the proceeds to the pastors of North Reformed with instructions that the money be used to assist others.

Joe Thomas, the manager of the Bessie Green Food Pantry, has been affiliated with North Church/Bessie Green since the early 1990s, when he decided he “needed something to do during the day” to supplement his career as a jazz musician. Most of the work of the pantry is performed by Joe and a long-term coworker, Pedro Torres (pictured above). The pantry serves a daily average of 110 people, but has served as many as 160 in one day.

Joe expressed great appreciation for the churches that have stepped up with financial support for the pantry.  And he says that the support he receives from MEND is “fabulous, absolutely and positively!!”  All in all, Bessie Green Food Pantry is typical of the best in MEND food pantries.
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