Emergency Food Services

by Chad Berman


There are countless efforts being made in the Trenton area with regards to emergency food shelters. A site that I am particularly knowledgeable about and proud of is the East Trenton Center Food Pantry at Habitat for Humanity. The pantry is run by the fantastic Liz Leonard and serves the local Trenton community.

The pantry collects and allocates food to needy families in the area, receiving donations from individuals, retailers, churches, and schools. The staff and volunteers utilize a very intricate system that determines who gets what kind of food and how much they get based upon the amount of identification the patrons give. The more identification given, the more food one receives, which is a method used to weed out those seeking handouts.

Liz is very passionate about the pantry, a fact that I have noticed through my time working with her. She is always looking for volunteers and appreciates it even when someone simply expresses interest in helping the pantry.

The pantry is funded by the Bonner Foundation and the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank and has become a staple in the community. I have seen countless patrons come through the center and receive much needed donations of such foods as canned goods and fruits and vegetables.

The East Trenton Center Food Pantry has been instrumental in distributing food to needy members of the community, especially throughout Hurricane Irene and its aftermath. Trenton was severely affected by Irene and the food pantry was a phenomenal success in preventing hunger during the desperate conditions that citizens of Trenton had to endure. The food pantry was really the only means of getting food for most residents, as the lackluster effort by the local and federal governments did little to help.

The pantry is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10am to 1pm, and is closed the first week of every month. Donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated.

The Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton is yet another invaluable resource to the community of Trenton. The ministry takes in donations of groceries from various organizations and clubs and distributes them to lower income families and individuals. The Crisis Ministry even makes home deliveries to patrons, which is an enormous resource for those that have no way of getting to the ministry, whether due to the lack of transportation or being physically unable to make the trip. The Ministry, as well as the Habitat for Humanity Food Pantry have become staples in the community of Trenton and continue to provide emergency food to those that desperately need it.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2011 edition of The Wall Newspaper.