HAWTHORNE, NJ - During this unprecedented wave of supermarket clear-outs, business closures and record high unemployment, Martha’s Pantry of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church remained open on April 11 to provide food for the needy in our community. Pantry members say that while they always hope the number of mouths to feed diminishes and there won’t be a need for the pantry, they are pleased to be serving members of the Hawthorne community as well as the surrounding towns of Prospect Park, Haledon, and Midland Park.

On the morning before Easter, the holiest day for Christians, volunteers with Martha’s Pantry at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church met to distribute food once again. The volunteers had taken all precautions to keep them and their clients safe during this time. Food was pre-packaged into shopping bags for each family, guaranteeing that each household received necessary items like toilet paper, pasta, cereal, and canned goods. A donation from a member of the church also ensured each household received a box of Italian cookies from Hawthorne’s Il Dolce bakery for Easter. Martha’s Pantry’s volunteers then brought the bags directly to each client’s waiting vehicle, and wore face masks and gloves to place the bag right in the car. Clients were asked to stay in their cars, keeping them and the volunteers as safe as possible. 

Volunteers from St. Clements’ church parish offer their time and donations of food, clothing, and diapers to keep Martha’s Pantry running. The pantry is located in the basement of St. Clement’s Church on Lafayette Ave. Items are given on a points-based system, with the first person of a household to receive 20 points and each additional family member adding 10 more points to the household allowance. There is a maximum total of 50 points per family. Items in the pantry cost 1-5 points. 

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“In this time of uncertainty and fear there will be a greater need for Martha’s Pantry and all food pantries and feeding programs,” St. Clements’ Deacon in Residence Erik Soldwedel told TAPInto Hawthorne. “In a small way St. Clements’ is staying connected with the community. We are called by faith to action and to feed the hungry. We are thankful to sponsor Martha’s Pantry.”

The food pantry also received a few donations from local residents in recent days, including a large donation of gluten-free shelf-stable items. The pantry relies on donations from church members and the surrounding community to be able to provide during this time of need.

Documents Required To Qualify For The Food Pantry

  • Personal ID - Preferably a photo ID, driver’s license, or other photo ID

  • Address Verification - driver’s license, lease, tax bill, utility bill, or bank statement

  • What you pay for - rent or mortgage per month

  • Household - All household members. Require names, ages, relationship to applicant, and something to show that they live with you. Household members must have social security cards or other identifiers.

  • Income - Household income or earnings for those working, how much they make per week, or month, for those not working, how much income from other sources (like Disability, Unemployment, Social Security, Food Stamps, etc.)

According to New Jersey’s Emergency Food Assistance Program: “...recipients are required to re-certify their eligibility to the food pantry once a year”, every year in the program. 

Those who are not able to provide all documents will still be able to receive some assistance from the pantry, with 20 points per family. 

Martha’s Pantry plans to next be open at the end of April from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Please watch their Facebook page for more details about the next opening date, or to arrange a time to donate items: https://www.facebook.com/MarthasPantrySC