About The Paramus Community Pantry

The Paramus Community Pantry addresses the needs of the elderly, disabled, unemployed, homebound, underemployed (working poor) and single parent households who are in need. As a volunteer, nonprofit organization under the auspices of Paramus Friendly Neighbors a 501(c) nonprofit, we enable people in our community; support, emergency and ongoing needs for food (perishable and non-perishable), personal hygiene, paper goods, and limited cleaning items.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHO DOES THE PANTRY SERVE?

The Paramus Community Pantry serves the needs of the under privileged and the most neediest families of Paramus.

HOW IS ELIGIBILITY FOR THE PANTRY DETERMINED?

Eligibility is determined using federal guidelines which base need on income. In some cases extenuating family or personal circumstances are also used.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR SERVICES?

Contact Human Services at 201-265-2100 xt.6100 to complete an application and interview.

WHO HELPS FUND THE COMMUNITY PANTRY?

The Community Pantry is a non-profit 501(c) which is funded strictly through the generosity of private individuals, area churches, local government, and civic organizations.

WHO ARE OUR FOOD SOURCES?

Food is donated to the Community Pantry by area churches, local schools, civic organizations, youth groups, businesses and private individuals.

The Community Pantry sponsors a few major food drives throughout the year to which we invite the entire community to contribute.

HISTORY

The Paramus Food Pantry was conceived in the late 1950’s and housed in the basement of the Human Services building that was located at 97N Farview Ave. Through the years, the pantry served the unmet needs of struggling community members and those on public assistance. Donations were accepted by other community members and organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts as well as local church organizations.

Throughout the 60’s, 70’s 80’s and 90’s, the pantry continued to discreetly service the community. Recipients called before they came and donations were accepted when the recipients were not going to be there.

The number of residents seeking help from Human Services sharply increased following the start of the last recession in 2007. The Pantry became more open and friendly as the community began to embrace those on public assistance and in need. By the spring of 2008 the pantry supplies were dwindling as the number of residents in need increased. At that time, the Human Services Director initiated the first community garden to supplement the supplies.  The garden was hugely successful, not only because it provided healthy food options, it offered volunteer opportunities to help those in need during hard times. Year after year, various community organizations, local merchants, scouts, houses of worship and students, as well as pantry recipients, donated and volunteered to maintain the garden. As a result, community awareness of the presence and need for the food pantry broadened. Bergen County Special Services Adult Training Program (BCSS) became the core volunteer group to tend the garden and continues to this day.

The supply continued to grow along with awareness and increased donations via local residents’ social media followings. By 2015 the pantry’s supply was exceeding the demand and the Pantry Share program began. Today, BCSS takes the lead in transporting overflow items to nearby pantries in need.

In July of 2016, out of  the generosity of the Paramus Affordable Housing Corporation and the Office of Veterans Affairs, the Pantry moved into to it new and current home at 105N Farview Ave and changed its name to Paramus Community Pantry. The move to our new facility has afforded us the ability to focus on both the food/basic necessities as well as other needs our recipients may have.

Today the Paramus Community Pantry continues to be supported by a staff of dedicated volunteers who help the recipients and is sustained through donations, both monetary and the acceptance of goods. Human Services continues to conduct need assessments and vets all recipients, assuring that the neediest community members are able to “shop” for goods without the expense.

Your continued support is much appreciated.