MEND Impact


Number of community partners in MEND’s network


Number of people served by MEND pantries in 2022


Percentage of people served who are children


Average meal cost in Essex County, NJ (versus SNAP benefit of $3.02 per meal)


County in NJ with the highest food insecurity rate in the state.


Pounds of supplemental fresh food provided to pantries and patrons in 2022

2019 MEND Pantry Numbers

Adults Served

Children Served

Total Clients Served

Apostles' House Food Pantry, Newark

Blessed Sacrament Church Food Pantry, Newark

Bloomfield Church on the Green Food Pantry, Bloomfield

Church Women United Food Pantry, Irvington

Elizabeth Ave. Weequahic Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, Newark

Elmwood Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, East Orange

First Hopewell Baptist Church Food Pantry, Newark

First Seventh Day Adventist Church Food Pantry, Montclair

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Food Pantry, West Orange

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Food Pantry, East Orange

Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges, Orange

Isaiah House Food Pantry, East Orange

New Hope Baptist Church Food Pantry, East Orange

Our Lady of Sorrows Church Food Pantry, South Orange

Parish of the Transfiguration Food Pantry, Newark

Roseville Presbyterian Church Food Pantry, Newark

St. James Social Service Corporation Food Pantry, Newark

St. Joseph’s Church Food Pantry, Maplewood

St. Mary’s Church/Pierre Toussaint Food Pantry, Newark

United Community Corporation Food Pantry, Newark

Total number of people served: 167,427

Adults: 51%

Children: 36%

Seniors: 13%


Sixty-two year old Peggy* is disabled and has been getting by with the help of SSI benefits. In the spring, tragedy struck her family when her son was shot and killed. After the shooting, Peggy took custody of her twelve-year-old granddaughter, Tessa*. She is grateful to be able to care for Tessa, but making ends meet is a struggle.  At her local MEND pantry, Peggy receives much-needed groceries. And during this holiday season, MEND’s Help–A-Family Program allowed Peggy to shop for groceries and prepare a delicious holiday dinner. And Tessa celebrated the holidays with new clothing wrapped and waiting for her!

The big Thanksgiving distribution at the food pantry went well and the volunteers went home tired but relieved they were had enough turkeys on hand for all 250 families who came that day. A few days later, when Ellen was preparing her own Thanksgiving dinner, she heard a ping from her phone with a very unexpected text message. There was a photo showing a full plate of traditional Thanksgiving foods, including turkey and all the sides. The words that followed were from one of the pantry’s patrons, a mom who said thank you so much for helping me feed my family on this special day!

When Kate returned to volunteer at her local pantry, she learned things had changed a lot in the decade since she’d last been involved. The two dozen regulars had grown to more than one hundred – and so many younger families with children!  Food donations had grown too; but not enough to meet the needs of so many families. As Kate looked at the bare pantry shelves, panic set in. What would she say to the families coming to the pantry on Saturday? She called MEND and within a day, a small truck arrived at the pantry filled with essential grocery items.  Kate and the other volunteers were able to restock the pantry in time to serve every one of their families in need.

Denise Hall, a patron of the New Hope Baptist Church food pantry, appreciates the healthy food options the pantry provides, given her health issues and financial challenges.

Read Denise’s Story