How The Holy Spirit Food Pantry Serves Those In Need


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The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit has been operating a food pantry for the last nine years. On the fourth Saturday of every month, it has about 120 Essex County families who stop by for supplies and the church makes 10 to 12 home deliveries.

The church depends on lots of volunteers to make the pantry work. On the Saturdays that the pantry is open, Holy Spirit needs 32 to 34 volunteers. On the evening before Pantry Day, it needs 10 to 12 volunteers to set up.

“When the Pantry receives large donations, such as in December when Santa rides through town assisted by the Verona Fire Department, Police Department and Rescue Squad, and collects bags of groceries for the Pantry, we call on a few dozen volunteers to help with sorting and stocking these items,” says Catherine Tamasik, the parish administrator. “In addition, we have two to three volunteers who sort donated items every week. To supplement donations, there are seven or eight people who make weekly purchases of items on sale at ShopRite. These people are reimbursed for the items they buy.” On the most recent Saturday, the volunteers included In Andrea Haefner and Barbara Foran (above).

Volunteers do not need to be members of Holy Spirit. “We have a base of over 100 volunteers who are not members but are mostly Verona residents,” adds Tamarisk, pictured below with the Rev. Gerard “Jerry” A. Racioppi, Holy Spirit’s rector.

The church also relies on the community for donations of non-perishable food and other items. The list of current needs is here.

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