Call For Help from our CEO Bernie Flynn



March 17, 2020

Dear Community Member,

We find ourselves at a moment in time that challenges us as individuals, families, and society as a whole. The Mercer Street Friends Food Bank provides an essential service to the neediest among us in Mercer County and the Coronavirus pandemic has stretched us to the limit. Regardless of this extraordinary challenge, our team remains deeply committed to helping to meet the nutritional needs of our community.

Mercer Street Friends is proactively continuing its work of channeling food to over 130 non-profits throughout Mercer County’s food emergency network. Also, nearly 1,300 students in Mercer County are enrolled in the Send Hunger Packing (SHUP) program and receive food on Friday nights for the weekend. We anticipate increased requests from food pantries throughout the County and we have already expanded the weekend food program for our students and their families.

Here’s our plan:

1. We recognize that our college and corporate volunteers are unable to join us on a daily basis due to school closures and temporary limitations on this type of convening. We understand. Repurposed Mercer Street Friends staff are working shifts to fulfill our immediate food site pantry needs.

2. In light of the CDC recommendations, many food packing events which generate free high quality food for us have been cancelled. We continue to reach out to our discount suppliers and are preparing to purchase food so that our supplies do not run low.

How YOU can help us respond to this crisis:

1. Make a financial gift today. We are expanding our weekend Send Hunger Packing program to feed a family of four instead of just one child. Also, while our suppliers continue to offer us discounts, we still must pay to fill our shelves. Expenses have already spiked and will continue to rise as the need for food increases. Gifts may be made by check and sent to 151 Mercer Street, Trenton, NJ 08611 or online www.mercerstreetfriends.org.

2. Consider volunteering at the Food Bank. Every step is being taken, in accordance with CDC guidance, to continuously deep clean the warehouse and keep our staff and volunteers 6 feet separated. But we cannot meet the demand if we don’t have help. All volunteers are screened, asked to wash their hands upon entry and provided gloves.

Volunteers are needed Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9am to Noon and 1pm to 4pm to help assemble pallets of food and pack bags for the weekend food program destined to children and their families enrolled in Send Hunger Packing. Please contact Sherries Anderson at (609) 278-5546 or sanderson@mercerstreetfriends.org to schedule your volunteer shift.

As always, we thank you for your support of Mercer Street Friends and we wish you good health.