The Importance and Mission of New Hope Community Food Pantry During COVID-19
During this time of turmoil in the world, New Hope Ministries, a non-profit Christian organization located in Prospect Park, NJ, seeks to provide love and hope for those in their communities who are struggling in a time of crisis to achieve self-sufficiency. EC Times’ journalism student, Chas Philips, took the time to interview Mrs. Smith, Community Outreach Director of New Hope, about how New Hope Ministries is providing new hope for those in the community during the Coronavirus outbreak.
What is New Hope Community Ministries?
We are a non-profit organization located in Prospect Park, NJ. Our mission is
‘Through the love of Christ, we build a restorative relationship with individuals and families in our community, empowering them to move from crisis to self-sufficiency.’
Who, specifically, is New Hope designed to help?
We are designed to help low-income families from Prospect Park, Haledon, North Haledon, and Hawthorne.
Have you all been able to remain open during the quarantine?
Yes, we have been able to remain open. We currently have new office hours Monday through Friday from 10 am-2 pm and food distribution twice a month.
Have you dealt with problems due to the outbreak of coronavirus?
Due to COVID-19, we have had some challenges which have forced us to make some temporary adjustments. This allows us to continue to serve and connect with our participants in a way that protects them, our staff, and our donors.
Most of our community outreach programs have been canceled. We have also had to stop receiving in-person food donations from churches or individuals to avoid the spread of the virus. This puts us at risk of running low on food, due to the fact that most of our food donations are from churches.
How have you tried to address these problems?
We are determined to keep the food pantry open to help families who are facing food insecurities, to continue to provide food for our community. We decided to run an online food drive-through yougivegoods.com.We have distributed groceries to equivalent to over 900 meals to families in our community. Our Program Director, Felipe Cortes, has continued to provide counseling sessions over the phone/video calls, and I have stayed in contact with our Women of Hope group and our New Hope Teen Leaders group through Facebook and Zoom. We as staff are also reaching out to every participant family to check-in, see how they are doing and be aware of any needs they might have.
How can people/readers help contribute to the cause?
Readers can help us by simply going to YouGiveGoods.com and search for New Hope Community Ministries and shop for groceries from the comfort of their home. Another way to help us is through prayers and monetary donations.
Is there any message that you would like to give to readers otherwise?
We want to thank everyone who has supported us during this time for us to continue to serve the community. This is a time where we are reminded to rely on God and to trust Him as Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.’
Eastern Christian Middle School (ECMS) will be partnering with New Hope during these difficult times as both parties seek to provide aid to families in need. ECMS and Unity CRC Ministry Center will serve as drop off points on May 9th from 9-11 AM for those willing to donate a bag of food and supplies. Watch this brief YouTube video for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iec4Z4A10Ls&fbclid=IwAR09SpmUEN61bHhXoJsJwiIjgjsqQNeaaJRhR-c51Ad_F_NnAFdJmp7c5mQ