Religions and Spirituality

Press Releases

Cranford-Elmora Soup Kitchen Throws Dec 20th Christmas Bash, Serves 64 Christmas Day

A Christmas tree lights the corner of the hall. Credits: Josue Camilo Castillo
An array of cookies and warm socks being set up for guests. Credits: Josue Camilo Castillo
Soup kitchen volunteer Lynne Fitzpatrick sorting through clothing. Credits: Josue Camilo Castillo
The Cranford Jaycees donated a variety of toys and clothing for the guests. Credits: Josue Camilo Castillo
The Cranford Jaycees organizing the donated goods. Credits: Josue Camilo Castillo
The First Pres Cranford Youth Group buttering bread for dinner. Credits: Josue Camilo Castillo
The First Pres Cranford Youth Group sorting through donated clothing. Credits: Josue Camilo Castillo
Volunteers admiring the cookies donated by The Food Emporium. Credits: Josue Camilo Castillo

UNION COUNTY, NJ - ​The Cranford-Elmora Soup Kitchen is more than a hall where the working poor of the Union County area can gather for a warm, nutritious meal on a weekly basis. It is a family that seeks to welcome guests into its warmth and make them feel at home, especially during the holidays when hunger and homelessness appear in its starkest form.

The soup kitchen boasted another successful Christmas spectacular on Sunday, Dec 20. The Food Emporium in Garwood donated 140 boxes of assorted cookies for guests to take with them to celebrate the holidays.

The Cranford Jaycees were also present to assist with the festivities. For about four years, the group has helped with delivering toys and clothing through the Union County area in conjunction with the Cranford Police Department and Fire Department. This year, they have collected about 1,000 total toys for various churches and organizations, including Toys for Tots and the Overlook Hospital pediatric burn unit. On Dec 20, various clothing, including hats and scarves provided by the Cranford Jaycees in conjunction with Target in Clark, were available for guests to sort through and take. Each guest was also allowed to take home one donated toy, ranging from Star Wars toys to dolls.

Sign Up for E-News

The Cranford High School Madrigal Choir, led by Anthony Rafaniello, performed Christmas carols, including having some of the guests join in on the fun. Finally, Santa visited, handing out toys to the children and taking pictures.

Guests enjoyed a bountiful meal of barbeque chicken, salad, stuffing, oranges, cake from Pinho's Bakery in Roselle, buttered bread, chocolate Santas, and candy canes.

On Christmas Day, the soup kitchen was again in full swing. Sixty-four guests arrived and dined on a meal of macaroni and cheese, while enjoying the welcoming company.

The soup kitchen accepts donations of socks, full size bars of soap, tooth paste, tooth brushes, deodorant, wash cloths, face towels, other basic essentials and funding. The First Presbyterian Church of Cranford acts as their drop point. Wands comments that she always sends thank-you cards.

To donate to the Cranford-Elmora Soup Kitchen, contact the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford at 908-276-8440.

The Cranford-Elmora Soup Kitchen, at 402 Union Ave, Elizabeth, began March 12, 1989 as a simple idea – Why can’t a group of people put a few sandwiches together and invite some of the hungry in for lunch? Now, the strictly-volunteer soup kitchen has more than 100,000 hot meals to the financially distressed in the Elizabeth area.

Their basic objective is to provide nutritious meals that one would find at home in a friendly atmosphere while educating volunteers, many of them children, about teamwork and how to care for their fellow man.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Cranford H.S. Athletes of the Week: Anna Horne & Phil Marotta

April 17, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ - Due to impressive performances as goalies for varsity lacrosse, Anna Horne and Phil Marotta are Cranford High School's Athletes of the Week.

Horne, a junior, has 408 career saves. Her current total for the season is 84 saves as she helped lead the Cougars to victory in games against Montville and Governor Livingston.

"I like the team dynamic of lacrosse," ...

Video: ‘Sandwichfest’ in Westfield this Weekend Will Benefit Local Charities

April 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — This Sunday, from noon until 4 p.m., head to The James Ward Mansion in Downtown Westfield to taste sandwiches from some of the area’s best-loved restaurants and vote for your favorites.

Proceeds from the event will go to Greta’s Run (benefiting people with special needs) and A Birthday Wish (benefiting children in foster care).

Participating restaurants ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Share Talents at Music Recital

April 22, 2018

EDISON, NJ -- The Music Department at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison staged its annual Spring Music Recital, and it was another spectacular show.

Held in the new Berry Performing Arts Center for the first time, this year's recital featured many of the school's most talented vocal and instrumental performers.

Students who participated in the recital included: Aum Mehta ...

Cranford Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

April 17, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity. Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

1. 04/10/2018 10:11 a.m.

North Avenue East and the Garden State Parkway 137 Exchange

Arrested: Manuel Ramos, 20, Newark

Arrested by: Ptl. Thomas ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 22, 9:00 AM

Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim, Cranford

Rummage Sale

Green Home & Garden

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

The History of Hanson Park and Surrounding ...


Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

The Cranford Hotel (sponsored by Calvary Lutheran Church), Cranford

Beer & Bible

Religions And Spirituality

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...