The journey to empowerment starts here.
When families and individuals are in crisis, their first stop is usually the food pantry. The pantry is needed to help cut the cost of groceries to free up money for other bills. Food and goods are provided both by the state of New Jersey and private donors. Prospective participants are interviewed, fill out an application and provide evidence that they are eligible for assistance. If the criteria are met, a participant is given an appointment time for a monthly visit to New Hope’s food pantry. The atmosphere at a food distribution day is upbeat, with participants, mentors, and volunteers greeting each other and visiting over cups of coffee. Instead of being handed pre-sorted bags of food, our participants “shop” for themselves. Each household is allocated a certain amount of points based on family-size. Participants use these points toward the grocery items in our pantry. Additionally, each participant is paired with a volunteer mentor, who speaks with them about life’s struggles and joys. Through these relationships, we strive not only to provide physical food, but also spiritual food and emotional support. You can read more about mentoring in the Restoration section.
In December 2016 New Hope will be hosting its first ever Christmas Market! We will be collecting donations of toys and gift cards to sell at steeply discounted prices to our community members. Structuring the program in this way allows for parents to play an active role in choosing and purchasing gifts for their children. On Christmas Day, the gifts these children buy will ultimately be coming from their parents. To read more about the Christmas Market, click here.
When bills stack up, it's tough for parents to afford all of the back-to-school expenses. At New Hope, we ensure that every kid in that comes to our Food Pantry can start the year off right. Each year, we provide backpacks filled with school supplies to an average of 150 kids.