Holiday Greetings and Gratitude

A Message of Gratitude

Dear Friends,

Over the past few months, Mercer Street Friends has continued to experience an increase in demand for services unlike any other time in our 62-year history. Volunteers and financial contributors have allowed Mercer Street Friends staff and community partners to do what we must in order to serve a community in distress. We can’t thank you enough for your support in order to ensure our neighbors are fed, educated and offered resources that assist them in overcoming the trauma of poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic.

As winter and the holidays are upon us and we look to the close of 2020, my sincere hope is that you recognize the impact you’ve had on Mercer Street Friends this Fall:

  • Between September 4, 2020 and December 11, 2020, nearly 11,000 weekend Community Food Bags were offered to our neighbors. Since March 20, 2020, Mercer Street Friends and our community partners – churches, schools, community centers and senior centers – have distributed 45,000 Community Food Bags, totaling 720,000 meals.
  • Mercer Street Friends Food Bank distributed 4,800 Thanksgiving turkeys (a 60% increase from 2019) to 50 partner agencies and 47 mobile food pantries.
  • On December 18th, in collaboration with our friends at Rolling Harvest, Mercer Street Friends distributed 1,000 holiday turkeys.
  •  A need for Food Bank expansion pre-pandemic was exacerbated by the substantial increase in demand since March and we are in the process of adding 10,000 square feet of space, conveniently right next door to our existing 15,000 square feet warehouse!
  • For over 15 years, Bloomberg Corporate Philanthropy has donated thousands of new winter coats for our neighbors. This year was no different. We received 360 new winter coats that have been distributed to students in the Trenton Community Schools program at Gregory Elementary and Rivera Community Middle School, Mercer Street Friends Preschool and to families who participate in the Mercer Street Friends Parent and Family Engagement program.
  • We are leading a mentoring program to battle chronic absenteeism at Rivera School supported by the All Kids Thrive initiative sponsored by the Princeton Area Community Foundation.
  • In January, under the leadership of Principal Jeanette Harris and in partnership with the Center for Child and Family Achievement, we will help launch the Reading Specialist program at Gregory School, designed to address the academic slide students are experiencing due to the pandemic.
  • Our youngest students at Mercer Street Friends Preschool received wish list gifts from Quakertown Friends New Jersey Meeting as well gift cards from the 3rd grade class of the Newtown Friends School.

These are just a few examples of the initiatives made possible by the generosity of individuals, families, businesses, corporations, associations, and foundations. Mercer Street Friends has much to be grateful for this year and we look to you with our deep appreciation and the comforting knowledge that serving our neighbors is a shared priority with so many who support us.

On behalf of Mercer Street Friends Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers and all we serve, we thank you and wish you peace during this holiday season and happiness in the new year.

Sincerely, 

Bernie Flynn
CEO

Mercer Street Friends | mercerstreetfriends.org