Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?” … And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25: 37, 40
The Sharing Place at St. Paul Lutheran Church offers bags of groceries or ready-made meals to needy people on the last two Saturdays of every month, 8 am to noon. We serve nutritious food to over 600 families and individuals per month. This number has grown at a rate of about 15% per year for the past several years.
Any indigent person who lives in the state of New Jersey, is welcome to receive food at the Sharing Place. We ask for documents proving identity, address if any, identity of persons in the household, and income. (A welfare card fulfills all these requirements.) No referral is necessary.
The Sharing Place is held in the parish hall behind the church building. We have a large indoor waiting area and a system of numbers so that clients are seen in the order in which they arrived. The line begins early. Clients must arrive before noon to be served.
We need 15-20 volunteers each Saturday of operation to fully staff the Sharing Place. Many volunteers are members and friends of St. Paul Church, but many come from the neighborhood and from community groups. Some volunteers carry boxes of food, but there are lighter jobs too, including packing bags or making baloney-and-cheese sandwiches. We also need volunteers to unload the food truck on the third Wednesday of each month, approximately 8:00 am. If you would like to help our indigent neighbors by serving at the Sharing Place, please contact the church office at 201.963.5518.
The Sharing Place feeds some 6,000 families and individuals annually. The NJ State Food Purchase Program and USDA commodities help stretch our food dollars. The Community Food Bank of New Jersey provides one-stop shopping for all our food needs. Our primary funders are the Jersey City Office of Community Development and the Hudson County Office of Community Development. Additional funders include the Appaloosa Group, Bayonne Community Bank, the Tower Group, the Ethical Community Charter School, Let’s Celebrate, Shoprite, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Recently several organizations given us the proceeds of food drives. A big thank-you goes to the Ethical Community Charter School, Lakeview Day Camp, Jersey City Public School 25, Struleman and Brioglio Physical Therapy, and Yoga in the Heights.
Food Drive Wish List
The Sharing Place appreciates all donations, whether cash or food. Here is a list of food items that are most useful to our needy neighbors:
- Shelf stable milk such as Parmelat
- Canned vegetables and fruit
- Cold cereal or oatmeal
- Juice in plastic bottles (no glass, please)
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Macaroni and cheese
- Pasta and sauce
- Baby formula
- Baby food jars
To make sure your food drive has maximum impact, contact 201.963.5518.