Can I get a tax acknowledgement? Yes. We give an receipt acknowledging your donated items on site at the time a donation is dropped off. Monetary contributions over $100 are acknowledged by letter for your tax records via mail each January. Purchases made for the ministry or as a designated gift can also be acknowledged by giving us a copy of the receipt for our files.
Do you charge for the items? No. Households who come to the ministry are already experiencing severe lack and food insecurity. The clothing, household, baby items and toys provide a way for them to meet other needs.
Is there poverty in Hoboken? When this ministry started in the 1980’s, 20% of Hoboken’s residents lived in poverty in substandard housing. After gentrification, 10% of Hoboken’s population of 50,000 still live well below the poverty line. Poorer households who remain can only live in Hoboken’s government subsidized apartments. Displaced families double up in these apartments and are often multigenerational households. The elderly and disabled poor live in six senior buildings scattered through-out the city. Our school district is designated for federal funds for disadvantaged school systems, or Abbott funding. We have a unusual dichotomy – in an affluent city, a majority of the school age children in our city qualify for free and reduced lunch programs.
How do needy households find you? Local agencies and churches refer those seeking help. Neighbors and extended family networks refer each other as well.
How do you decide who to help? Our primary concern is a hunger response and we give the most help to those with the highest vulnerability factors: the elderly, chronically or terminally ill, and babies. Our food pantry is an emergency service and proof of interrupted income or severe crisis is needed. We verify and evaluate need at each request or referral. We try to personalize the help given for each circumstance depending on our donations and volunteers. We are happy to allow all pre-screened and registered low income households to visit our clothing and used item resource bank once each season without proof of emergency situation.
How many people do you serve? As an emergency food pantry with a long term presence in our community, we have registered and served well over three thousand households. Last year, there were 3101 visits and 697 different households, with just under 1000 dependent children receiving help.
What are your hours? Our hours vary due to the needs of the ministry. It is necessary to call ahead to confirm a time band. Appointments are available every other day for emergency food or for donation drop offs. We include appointment bands for evenings, weekends and typical daytime business hours. This flexiblity accommodates a wider spectrum for volunteers recipients and donors and allows us to operate without paid staffing and low overhead.
Do you proselytize? As a spiritual witness we demonstrate the love of God and neighbor- no one receiving needs to participate in religious activity to receive help