TOUCH has continued to feed those in need via the random partners that contact us in order to rescue food from their locations. Organizations such as the Philadelphia Airport, the Bellmawr Recreation Association and the Wells Fargo Center deserve our thanks for contacting us to pickup food and distribute to the needy. Also, many, many thanks to Philabundance for continuing to supply protein packs, pastry and sandwiches from Starbucks.
In these uncertain times it is impossible to determine what will have to distribute to those in need. Subsequently, we recommend that anyone interested in our distribution should check the TOUCH New Jersey Facebook daily. We will keep that site updated on whether we are open or closed.
Although there are only five volunteers working to distribute food we will continue as long as we are considered essential to survival. TOUCH personnel are practicing ALL of the necessary precautions including 6’ distancing, gloves, sanitizer, hand washing and masks. Please keep updated on our food supply as we often receive surplus foodstuffs that have short lifespans and need to be distributed.
Please stay safe and protect yourself as directed by the healthcare professionals.
TOUCH New Jersey, Inc. a food distribution alliance was formed in 2003 operating as a “shopping food pantry” in and around the city of Camden, growing gradually and incorporating in 2007. TOUCH New Jersey has been operating in North Camden since 2015 and has impacted the local residents to the extent that over 10,000 pounds of food are distributed each Wednesday. TOUCH New Jersey addresses poverty in the poorest neighborhood of the poorest city in America by providing food and resources to individuals and needy families that survive at or below the poverty level.
The present all-volunteer food Pantry is based in the New Beginnings Church at 549 State Street. The pantry is open each Wednesday for 4 hours, allowing low-income, elderly and disabled residents to “shop” for fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, dairy, bread and other food staples. TOUCH’s operations are staffed by volunteers, currently “rescuing” and distributing food to an average of 350 families per week in all of the outreaches. As a certified agency with Philabundance, TOUCH New Jersey receives foodstuffs from ACME supermarkets throughout South Jersey as well as the Walmarts and the Philabundance Produce Hub in South Philadelphia.
TOUCH New Jersey over the years maintains the original food pantry and has become a food distribution ALLIANCE with many charitable organizations. TOUCH New Jersey also holds positions on committees and boards for Camden based social initiatives.
From the Executive Director
Just as it has affected society in every venue the Coronavirus has forced the TOUCH Food Alliance to review its daily operations and to make the necessary changes accordingly.
The food that is distributed by TOUCH New Jersey is critical as a basic necessity to those in need in the North Camden area and will continue to be provided. In an effort to minimize the potential or virus infection TOUCH will implement changes in its shopping process to include individual access to the pantry, outdoor shopping and/or on-site produce washing.
Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of foodstuffs that come through the TOUCH distribution process are packaged and sealed and are not contaminated accordingly. These items include meats, dry goods, dairy, bread and bakery. The areas of handling concern include produce that is often received open in flats or loose packets. Subsequently TOUCH will continue to require that all volunteers wear gloves in any and all food pantry involvement. Also, all volunteers will wash their hands regularly and will make use of the provided on-site hand sanitizers.
Washing of all produce will be increased from the normal requirements and placement of the produce distribution will be isolated and only individual access will be allowed to the available produce.
Just as important as the concern for our clients is our concern for our volunteers. Such volunteerism will be minimized for the next 30 days in order to provide a venue that has less of an ability to allow infection. By imposing the above-listed prophylactic measures throughout the time period as recommended by health officials TOUCH will seek to eliminate any spread of the Coronavirus as it remains open to service those in need.
While TOUCH management concerns itself with the Coronavirus health issues life does go on. TOUCH’s outreaches and partnerships continue to grow. The TOUCH Food Alliance continues to supply numerous outreaches in Salem County with weekly food through our food donations. TOUCH allows Catholic Charities to pickup food from one of its agency supermarkets and distribute that food to those in need.
The university community also continues to benefit from TOUCH’s partnerships where food is distributed to college campus food pantries at Rowan, Camden County College and Rutgers Camden thus addressing a hunger niche that many do not even know exists.
The future will include TOUCH outreaches in the entertainment industry as well as partnerships with Subaru the American Water Company and Better Tomorrows.
Please be safe, protect yourself and continue to use the TOUCH outreach as needed.
FEED THE NEEDY IN THE SENIOR COMMUNITY
Let us remember our senior community and show our love to our elderly by feeding them.
PROVIDE NUTRITION FOR STRUGGLING FAMILIES
Nutrition is for everyone. Help us nurture the families who need our help.
PROVIDE EMERGENCY FOOD FOR THOSE IN CRISIS
We can lessen people’s crisis and make them feel loved by providing emergency food.
We’re low income,fixed income.[TOUCH pantry] supplements our groceries so we don’t starve to death.”
This pantry allows me to get meat ….I can prepare ,meals for myself and others.
Good Morning Gerald:
It was such a pleasure to meet you yesterday!! I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how grateful CLHI, Betsy and I are for partners like you. Your kindness has allowed us to provide 30 North Camden families with food staples over the holidays. I attached for you the card we placed in each basket delivered to the families. We are very appreciative of your efforts, which allowed us to serve our community. It was great working with you and we hope we can partner together again in the future. Thank you again. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
Thank you for all you do to help us feed students. Through you and your donors we are able to feed students lunch every day from 11:00 to 2:00. The majority of the food (99%) comes from Touch NJ, once in a while we get a random donation from elsewhere. So far this semester we have provided 3700+ lunches.
Below is an external link to our food statistics. In theory, I believe the link can be shared with anyone (network security is tight on campus). Let me know if you have any issues with accessing the info.
Without you this program would not be possible. Thank you again on behalf of all the students.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering
Good Morning School Leaders:
This morning, I was blessed to have a meeting with representatives from the TOUCH NJ Food Pantry based in North Camden. Weekly, TOUCH NJ gives our 2000 pounds of food to Camden residents each week through a variety of places, including 3 schools in the city.
Mr. Gerald Davis, who is CCed in this email explained that TOUCH will be getting even more food and sincerely wants to see to it that no student in our schools goes hungry. The food is FREE. Delivery is FREE…all they need is you support and a list of students who can benefit from having what most of us take for granted – access to food.
Mr Davis (856.803.3030) is good people and is committed to the cause of feeding the hungry. Please do not hesitate to reach out to him for the sake of our children.
Thanks for all you folks do!
Dr. Keith E. Benson
Camden Education Association
Camden Education Association
READY TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER ?
TOUCH New Jersey coordinates and administers an all-volunteer food Pantry which is based in the New Beginnings Church at 549 State Street. The pantry is open each Wednesday for 4 hours, allowing low-income, elderly and disabled residents to “shop” for fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, dairy, bread and other food staples. TOUCH’s operations are staffed by volunteers, currently “rescuing” and distributing an average of 9500 pounds of food per week.