WESTFIELD, NJ—The Westfield Food Pantry at Holy Trinity is now replenished, a month after volunteers threw away bags of perishable food post Hurricane Sandy. Bill Crandall, a volunteer at the food pantry, said that the power was out for at least a week.
“It was a good seven days that the refrigerator and the freezer weren’t working,” Crandall said. “We threw away about five full garbage bags, including 70 dozen eggs and corned beef.”
Members of the Westfield Community helped to replenish the pantry by contributing with individual donations.
The food pantry also received its annual large delivery from the NJ Community FoodBank in Hillside on Nov. 28, which helped the pantry to reach its full replenishment.
“We are back to normal now,” Crandall said. “It took a while.”
The Westfield Food Pantry at Holy Trinity, located at the Holy Trinity Interparochial School on First Street, has existed for about 35 years. The pantry serves both perishable and non-perishable food to all of Union County.
Crandall, who has been volunteering at the food pantry for approximately 12 years, said that the pantry has increased in size.
“We have expanded a little bit,” Crandall said. “We always had two rooms; now we have a third room because we really need it. We have gotten bigger.”
The pantry operates from Monday through Friday, working strictly through social services agencies. Volunteers receive phone calls from these agencies between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
“That doesn’t mean that the food pantry is open,” Crandall said. “That’s when the phone calls are made because some people take the phone calls right there at the food pantry and other people would take the calls at home. Then, the volunteer will make appointments after 11:00 o’clock to come over and give out the food.”
The majority of the food arrives from the NJ Community FoodBank in Hillside, which distributes both federal government and state government food. There are days when volunteers will pick up the food themselves and other days when the Food Bank will deliver it.
“They of course charge us for the delivery,” Crandall added.
Food is also collected from donations and from three yearly drives. One of these drives is organized in May by the Westfield Post Office, one in November by the Boy Scouts and the other one during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur by Temple Emanu-El.
Anyone can help the Westfield Food Pantry at Holy Trinity by donating and by volunteering. For more information contact Bill Crandall at 908-233-5446.