Those who are food insecure in New Jersey can get help from local and statewide food banks. The need for assistance has increased greatly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is a list of nonprofits and agencies that offer food assistance as a primary service in Middlesex County. A list of statewide agencies follows. These organizations are also in need of volunteers and donations.
To add a nonprofit organization or agency to the guide, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elijah’s Promise Community Kitchen & Social Services
18 Neilson St., New Brunswick, N.J. 08901 (Parking on Street and Rear Lot) | elijahspromise.org/.
Elijah’s Promise works to end hunger by serving food at its community soup kitchen, providing education and jobs in the food industry through its Promise Culinary School, and encouraging neighborhood agriculture with its community garden.
During COVID-19 the Community Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick is “serving almost 700 meals a day and over 110,000 meals a year to individuals who would otherwise go hungry. We serve all who come through our doors and take pride in preparing the most delicious and healthy meals possible for our guests. For the safety of our guests and staff, our meals are currently served to-go.”
During the growing season, Elijah’s Promise works diligently to “rescue” food from local farms, farmers markets, and gleaning programs through partnerships with Farmers Against Hunger NJ and New Brunswick Rotary. These efforts enable us to source Jersey Fresh produce.”
“We believe that a nutritious meal is a right, not a privilege.”
The soup kitchen is open daily from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., serving one hot and one bagged meal to-go per guest.
For more information, go to https://elijahspromise.org/.
Hands of Hope Food Pantry
P.O. Box 1057, Edison, N.J. 08818 | handsofhopenj.org/
Hands of Hope is a nonprofit, community-based organization “committed in providing an efficient and effective centralized system for distributing food to alleviate hunger.”
The nonprofit’s efforts are focused on helping those in need “sustain good nutrition, health and most of all human dignity by providing a means for the individual to meet their full potential and to silence the pain hunger brings.”
The food pantry is open the first and third Saturday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Emergency food requests can be made by calling 732-236-3330. For more information, go to https://handsofhopenj.org/.
Community FoodBank of New Jersey
31 Evans Terminal, Hillside, N.J. 07205 | 908-355-3663
The Community FoodBank of New Jersey works to “fight hunger and poverty in New Jersey by assisting those in need and seeking long-term solutions.” According to the organization’s website, “We engage, educate and empower all sectors of society in the battle. Working together with volunteers, donors and our many partners, we work to fill the emptiness caused by hunger with Food, Help and Hope.”
For those who need assistance, the Community FoodBank offers three ways to access services:
- 1. Text: 908-224-7776. Type “find food” or “comida” — those seeking assistance will then be prompted to enter their zip code to be directed to a resource.
- 2. Website: For the food pantry locator, go to wfbnj.org/findfood.
- 3. Call food assistance line: Call 908-838-4831 would put someone in touch with resource assess team. Team members can help in English, Spanish, haitian creole. We’ve always done that. Have expanded resource access team. Helping people apply for snap is their specialty – connect them to other resources.
For additional information, click here.
The mission of Feeding America is to “feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.” The Feeding America network secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States.
To find a food bank, go to https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank or for more information on food assistance, go to https://www.feedingamerica.org/need-help-find-food.
SoupKitchen411 is a nonprofit organization that purchases “professional quality meals” from local restaurants and serves them at soup kitchens.
In 2015, friends Ken DeRoberts and Phillip Gentile established the nonprofit organization to serve as a hub for anti-hunger advocates to raise awareness about the epidemic of food insecurity in America and as a database of soup kitchens and other places where free meals are regularly served. The free online database at SoupKitchen411.com utilizes interactive maps to provide detailed information such as hours of operation and contact information for 250+ tri-state area, and over 700 national soup kitchens and food pantries. To locate a soup kitchen near you, click here.
In April 2020, amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SoupKitchen411 launched the FeedNJ campaign that contracts bulk meals from New Jersey restaurants to be distributed to their local soup kitchens. FeedNJ is a campaign operated by nonprofit SoupKitchen411 to fight COVID-19-impacted food insecurity and keep struggling restaurants across New Jersey afloat by purchasing nutritious meals from them in bulk that are thereafter distributed to local soup kitchens.
To date, the FeedNJ campaign has served over 35,000 meals purchased from local restaurants which have been served at soup kitchens and collective spaces for free, and plans to expand operations to all 21 New Jersey counties in 2021.
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.