Emergency Food Program

CFA has grown from a small food pantry in the basement of a church to the leading food provider in northern New Jersey.  Although food will be the main focus, this year, CFA is introducing the Action Beyond the Bag campaign to highlight the multiple programs we have initiated over the years to expand our ability to help families and individuals in need.

Emergency & Holiday Food Program

In 2018, CFA distributed 64,046 food packages to local families and individuals in northern New Jersey.

  • An emergency food package consists of seven days of nutritious food. The amount of food a household receives is based on family size.
  • On average, a food package consists of 6 bags of groceries.
  • Clients can come for food packages up to 12 times a year.
  • CFA provided Thanksgiving food packages to 3,102 households – 9,386 people. A package for a family of four has a value of approximately $180.

A food package consists of donated foods, paper goods, personal care products and cleaning supplies. Fresh meats, cheese, eggs, and vegetables are provided when available.  As funding permits, CFA purchases food items such as eggs, meat, and fresh produce to include in the packages.

During the spring, summer and fall months, CFA adds fresh produce from CFA’s Englewood garden, the Central Unitarian Church garden, GrowTorah, Christ Lutheran Church and from our food rescue program.

Diabetic Food Packages

CFA supplies approximately 175 diabetic food packages monthly. The number of requests for diabetic food packages has doubled over the past three years. It is a constant struggle to get enough items donated that meet the dietary needs of those living with diabetes.

Counseling and Advocacy

CFA provides information, referrals, counseling, and advocacy to clients and helps them access government and community services to which they are entitled. Advocates work with families to help them assess their options and makes recommendations to clients so that they can address the issues that led to the immediate crises and suggests ways they can implement long-term solutions that will help provide individuals and families with a better quality of life. If appropriate, clients are referred to CFA’s other programs, which include assistance with rent, security deposits, utility bills, purchase of heating oil, etc.

Workshops are periodically offered on topics such as nutrition, budgeting, buying healthy foods on a limited budget, etc. Staff and volunteers follow-up with clients and provide additional support as needed.

We are extraordinarily grateful to see our community come together to support frontline care team members in the last several months. Through your generosity, more than 150,000 meals from local restaurants were donated to help power our team through the height of the COVID-19 crisis. As we begin to move forward, our locations will no longer be accepting food donations—but we ask that you keep that generous spirit alive.

We encourage you to instead direct your financial donations to Center for Food Action’s Give a Meal Program to help those going hungry within our communities. Together, we can curb hunger, help local restaurants, and make a difference for families in need.

Give A Meal