WAYNE, NJ — For more than a year, during a global pandemic, the Wayne Interfaith Network Food Pantry has been helping food-insecure families and individuals living right here in Wayne, NJ. The economic downturn due to mitigation efforts has left its toll on many local residents and the WIN Food Pantry responded, doing what it has always done, serving those who need it most.
However, they couldn’t have done it without your help and created a special “Thank You” video to share their gratitude.
Wayne residents responded in big ways, and did what they always do: help, volunteer and take care of their own. Together over 180 food-insecure, local families and individuals were supported during one of the darkest times of their lives.
“The generosity that poured out of the local community was overwhelming,” said WIN Co-President, Barbara Cohen. “We had individuals sending checks directly from their retirement accounts, organizations giving us their end-of-year annual donations early, local houses of worships making special collections of food and money, families sending us large recurring monthly payments, groups organizing food drives en masse. It was literally something we have never seen before.”
When the pandemic shutdowns began so suddenly in March, the WIN Food Pantry closed its doors to protect its volunteers, but they did not stop, and neither did the donations from Wayne residents.
“It was when Mayor Vergano started giving us shout-outs in his weekly COVID reports, that’s when the support really kicked in,” said Cathy Czar, Cohen’s Co-President. “With all of this increased financial support, we were able to put it right back into the hands of the families who need it by sending them supermarket gift cards, so they could buy what they needed for themselves. During the height of the pandemic, there is just no way we could have helped all of our families in-need without it.”
“We were trying to think of a way to thank everyone, so we created a short video with all of our volunteers holding up ‘Thank You’ signs mixed-in with photos of food drives from this past year,” said WIN volunteer Susan Yacavone.
Here is WIN’s touching “Thank You” video for everyone who donated to help their fellow Wayne residents: https://vimeo.com/524526340