SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Year-round, South Plainfield’s Social Services/Welfare Department works to help residents in need or those who are dealing with illness or other situations causing financial hardships.

The department provides agency referrals and financial assistance for emergency prescriptions, utility bills and much more while also ensuring that the shelves of South Plainfield Food Pantry, located at the senior center, are fully stocked. Additionally, each November, the department provides Thanksgiving dinners to families in need and, in December, an Adopt-A-Family program is run.

"We are a self-sustaining department that relies solely on donations," said Heather Barry, L.S.W., department's director. "Everything we do here is possible thanks to the generosity of our community. I am so thankful to our community residents and organizations who support us throughout the year."

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Residents who turn to social services for help, noted Barry, can rest assured that assistance is free as well as confidential with respect for privacy of the utmost importance; while personal information is kept on file, identifying details are never released to the public.

“This is a small, close-knit town; everyone knows one another and while we understand that someone may want to help a specific person or family, the department cannot work that way,” said Barry, adding, “As a licensed social worker, it is my responsibility to protect each client with confidentiality. We are here to help families while respecting their privacy.”

The Borough of South Plainfield’s Social Services/Welfare Department operates Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Donations of non-perishable food items and other everyday necessities such as paper goods, diapers, wipes, detergent, cleaning products and toiletries as well as gift cards to local supermarkets for perishable items are always needed. 

"We are always in need of donations, they are what help keep this department running,” said Barry, adding that she is ‘truly amazed by the generosity and kindness of the residents and organizations’ here in South Plainfield. 

“Those who come into my office are always so grateful for this community,” she said. “It's a place where people truly come together to help and it is so very appreciated."

Residents, businesses, community groups and organizations interested in helping or donating to the South Plainfield Department of Social Services and the South Plainfield Food Pantry can contact Heather Barry at 908-226-7625/7628 or by emailing hbarry@southplainfieldnj.com.

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