The Madison Area YMCA hosted two successful events last week, a Drop-Off Food Drive and a Food Distribution Day, to support the community. Due to rising levels of food insecurity, food banks are struggling to restock their pantries, so the YMCA pitched in to help to feed our community.

The week-long Drop-off Food Dive culminated on Friday, May 29, and supported the First Baptist Church of Madison's Food Pantry. Members and neighbors dropped off bags of non-perishable items to the YMCA’s Family Center on Kings Road, just outside the front entrance doors.

“With the growing number of people in our area who are food insecure, I also sense a growing wave of compassion and generosity to help those in need. I am grateful that the YMCA is part of that wave of compassion and generosity,” said Rev. Jeff Markay, Senior Pastor at the United Methodist Church in Chatham, NJ.

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In addition to the food drive, the Madison Area YMCA held a Food Distribution Day also on Friday, May 29. Through a partnership with the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, Community Food Bank of New Jersey and Seashore Produce Company, the Madison Area YMCA received 50 boxes of shelf-stable food and 63 boxes of fresh produce. As pallets of food were delivered to the Y on Friday morning, teams of YMCA staff were on hand to accept and organize the food. Families arrived at the Y during scheduled times to pick up food. Y staff also made contactless home deliveries to those unable to get to the Y.

Madison Area YMCA Engagement Manager Gwen Riddick and Kirby Center Director of Business Operations Frances Roman, worked with local partners from the Madison Senior Network, Rexford Tucker Senior Apartments in Madison, the United Methodist Church of Chatham, the First Baptist Church of Madison, the Madison Housing Authority and the Borough of Chatham, to identify 50 households in our community experiencing significant food insecurity and in immediate need.

“In times like this it’s important to work together to help those who need it most. Our community feels a connection to one another. During uncertain times, we realize how much we need and count on each other. We are working with the New Jersey State Alliance to continue to hold Food Distribution Days biweekly,” Gwen Riddick, said.

Chatham Borough Councilman Len Resto said, “We are thrilled to partner with the Madison Area YMCA in their efforts to feed the food insecure. Chatham has its own drive on Wednesdays at the Chatham United Methodist Church and despite being known as an affluent community, the need is great. Although we did run out of produce last Wednesday, we had enough gift cards for all and directed those who did not receive product to the Madison Y’s food drive, we are very thankful to work together to fill this crucial need.”

For more information about food distribution and ways to support our community, contact Gwen Riddick, Madison Area YMCA Engagement Manager, Community, Member & Volunteer by email at griddick@madisonymca.org.

As a mission-driven charitable organization, the Madison Area YMCA is dedicated to nurturing the potential of every child and teen, and improving the community’s health and well-being and giving back by providing support to our neighbors.