Wednesday Evenings 6:30 pm – 7 pm
Thursday Afternoons 1:00 pm – 2 pm
Saturday Mornings 11:00am – 12 noon
Our food pantry continues to reach out to families in need in the surrounding communities. We have been serving approximately 240 families per month and had 31 salvations in 2014.
As the needs continue to grow, our food donations continue to shrink. Every year we had Post Office drives in the spring and a Boy Scout drive in the fall. Two years ago, the Boys Scouts changed the food drive schedule by dropping off food at the pantries they picked and that year, no food was received. At last year’s Boy Scout drive we received two crates of food that lasted about one month. This year, all the donations from the Post Office drive went to the food bank. From the food bank we received two pallets of food that lasted a little more than a month. Not to worry, “GOD” is on the Throne; He always comes through with the power of prayer.
According to a census taken in 2014, there are nearly one million people living in poverty in New Jersey. Since the last decade, it has grown by almost 250,000. The states poverty rate has jumped from 8.7% to 11.1% over the last ten years. Actually, it dropped from 11.4% to 11.1% from 2013-2014. This brings the number of people living in poverty to 973,000.
The Department of Education shows that there are 10,303 homeless students living on the streets, in shelters, hotels or with other families. There was a jump of 19% from 2013-2014 school year. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, nationally, there are estimated 1.36 million homeless students.
New Jersey lost 19,000 vouchers between 2010-2014 because of funding cuts to the Housing Choice Voucher Program by the government, however, there are charitable organizations like Covenant House that are reaching out to the youth.
The church body needs to rise up, not the government, to care for, feed and clothe the poor. James 2:14-17 says what good is it, my brother, if a man claims to have faith but has not deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or daily food, if one says to him: “go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself if not accompanied by actions is dead.
Thurdays † 9:00-11:00 am
Volunteers are needed to drop off pallets and pick up bread for the Food Pantry on Thursdays. For more information or to volunteer, leave a message at 732.349.1550 x214.
Juice, Peanut Butter, Jelly and Paper Bags
No Plastic Bags Please!
We’re having another busy year at the Food Pantry serving the needs in our surrounding communities. We are again seeing an increase in the number of families needing food. Over the past year, we’ve seen the number increase from an average of 105 to 113 per month. The people fed increased by 300, totaling 4341. The increase is coming from the senior community and working families. There are 40% from households who have at least one employed adult. Our food donations from the Food Bank, and the Post Office and Boy Scout drives are down, probably due to hurricane relief efforts. I would estimate our stock is down about 40%.
I can’t say enough about our volunteers and their continued dedication through the years, showing support and love, and offering prayer. Through prayer, we’ve seen many confess Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. A client who came to our Food Pantry was suffering from a rotary cup injury for the past twenty years. She was offered prayer, but declined, saying God would not take the pain away. When the volunteer asked her if she had any unforgiveness toward someone from her past, she answered yes. The volunteer said that she needed to forgive that person, and she agreed to. She allowed the volunteer to pray for her, then commented that she no longer felt pain.
At this time, we are asking for prayer ministers to volunteer some time to help us with prayer. We are finding it difficult to pray for everyone who wants prayer, due to the increased numbers of people coming to our Food Pantry. If you want to play a part in changing lives, please consider joining our team. Contact the church office at (732) 349-1550.
We have seen the growing needs in our food pantry again this past year. We have ministered to an average of 105 families per month, feeding over 4,000 clients. An increasing number of families are struggling just to maintain and pay their bills. One third of all the children from working class families fall in the low income bracket. Today, even middle class families are struggling to make ends meet.
We thank God for the many volunteers He has blessed this ministry with. I can’t say enough about their dedication and caring natures. They are truly making a difference in the lives of these families by offering hope through provision and prayer. We see clients come for food who are embarrassed, ashamed, and frustrated, and they leave with hope and peace. Through prayer, we have seen many confess Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, and we have witnessed numerous miracles. A client suffering from back pain as a result of a car accident a year ago was pain free after receiving prayer. Another, diagnosed with hepatitis, tested negative at her next blood test. The amazed doctor asked her what she did!
Indeed, our volunteers are making a difference! To help meet the growing need, we are looking to add to our team of dedicated volunteers. If God is tugging on your heart to join our team, please call the church office at (732) 349-1550.
God continues to bless the Grace and Peace Food Pantry and it continues to grow. The demands of families in need are being met even as the number of families coming for food increases. In nine months so far this year, we’ve averaged 100 families visiting our pantry per month.
Operation Blessing has added us to their list of food distribution centers, so they will be providing us with additional food and personal care products to distribute.
This past March, the Food Pantry and warehouse were expanded. In August, a bathroom was installed and very soon we will be installing an 8′ by 8′ walk-in freezer.
We also expanded our daily food distribution outreach in Seaside Heights this year. This was a real necessity since there are no other food pantries in the area and many of the families living there have no means of transportation to travel outside their immediate vicinity.
We have been truly blessed with volunteers who are sincerely devoted to serving others. Our volunteers always offer to pray for those that would like to be prayed with, and in the near future, we will have a Prayer Room in the Food Pantry where they can go for prayer.
-Phil Pintozzi, Food Pantry Ministry Leader