For the last year, I’ve been working with colleagues to revamp and upgrade the amazing work done at the Tri-Boro Food Pantry (formerly known as the Pascack Food Center). For decades, this food pantry (housed at Pascack Reformed Church in Park Ridge) has served people in our community who are in need. Recently, we’ve seen more people using the pantry’s services. Even in an area as wealthy as ours, food insecurity still exists. People in Northern New Jersey are suffering the effects of poverty. And this food pantry continues to grow to meet the needs of all who are looking for milk, eggs and other food for themselves and their families.
Each week, many of the pantry’s new volunteers are busy organizing and sorting food donations as they come in. October, November and December are the busy times for food drives. As we give thanks for our blessings, we feel compelled to help others. Cub scouts, schools and fire departments are busy collecting food and delivering hundreds of items to the pantry. This generosity is amazing and saves lives. We can’t be thankful enough for all who feed people during this time of year.
In the middle of this generosity, however, we need to remember that hunger never takes a vacation. Food insecurity can strike people and families at any time. New people who have never used a pantry before will be visiting the Tri-Boro Food Pantry for the first time in the spring and summer when an unexpected job loss, medical expense or change in lifestyle makes their next meal uncertain. As a church, we do more than feed people during the season of thanksgiving; we feed people all year long. The snack packs we packed to feed elementary school kids, the Genesis garden growing vegetables in the summer, the hunger appeal during Lent, and the dedicated box in the narthex that collects food all year long is just a sample of how we take care of people no matter what time of year it is. At this time, I am thankful for you because of all you contribute and do to fight hunger all year long. I am thankful that the love Jesus showers on you is expressed through your dedication in making a difference in our neighbor. I pray that your November is full of thankfulness, generosity and unbridled grace.
See you in church!