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Ann Marie Manahan Speaks about Morristown Interfaith Food Pantry at August 3 Kiwanis Meeting

Ann Marie Manahan of the Morristown Interfaith Food Pantry was introduced by Clyde Zukswert. Photo shows Kiwanis VP Mary Anne Maloney on the left and Ms. Manahan on the right. Clyde has been a contributor and volunteer, picking up over a half ton of food and delivering it to the Food Pantry. Ann Marie is a Trustee of the Food Pantry and heads up their Capital Campaign. Some people are having a tough time making ends meet and go to the Food Pantry to supplement their food supply. The Pantry distributes almost 400 tons of food to 13,787 people in 5000 households in Morris County. They have clients from every town in the county, including Chatham.

Most of the work is done by volunteers who give 15,000 hours per year. Paid staff is only 20 but there are 260 regular full time volunteers. Even more volunteers come part time. For example, Kiwanis could send teams on an occasional basis to be part of the 930 temporary volunteers who participate every year. The Pantry works to get maximum volunteer and client involvement.

Their motto is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”. Biggest need for contributions is FOOD. Contributors can also provide money which is used to buy food. They desperately request food now because need rises and contributions fall during the summer. Clients need to make choices of food they will eat that meets their requirements. Kiwanis gives hot dogs left over from the August Chatham Library Picnic and the Food Pantry breaks bulk packages into smaller ones and offers them at the closest distribution night. When food comes in, the first stop is “Triage” where volunteers analyze food to see if it is usable and load it into boxes to take to shelves in the West Hanover Ave. or the 190 Speedwell Ave. distribution sites.

The Pantry is in the midst of a capital campaign. They outgrew West Hanover Ave. space provided by Morris County and they plan to build a storage and distribution facility on Morris County land which is part of the Greystone property.  The goal of the Capital Campaign is $2.7 million and they have already raised $1.5 million. The “little Pantry that could” has done great things in this tough economy. No large gifts, but many ranging from one small $14 donation from a 7-year old to many larger. Click here to learn about “Harvesting Miracles, The Capital Campaign for the Interfaith Food Pantry”.

Click here to see the Interfaith Food Pantry 2009 Annual Report.

Click here to see the Interfaith Food Pantry Spring 2010 Newsletter.

Click here to visit the Interfaith Food Pantry Website. Scroll down to view YouTube video shown at the Kiwanis meeting.

After her presentation about the Food Pantry, Clyde asked Ms. Manahan to share her “cookie story”. …

The story began when she read, with her young daughter, the “American Girl” Mollie McIntire story about making cookies for WWII soldiers. Her daughter said, “lets bake cookies for soldiers.” Ann Marie asked the Daily Record to request cookies from readers. After an article was published, almost 25,000 cookies were contributed along with 800 cards. All were sent to New Jersey National Guard troops in Iraq and to soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

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