About Montclair Mutual Aid
Montclair Mutual Aid was founded in March 2020, responding to pandemic emergency needs, but aiming to establish itself permanently. During its first year, Montclair Mutual Aid has grown to include hundreds of volunteers and thousands of benefited residents. Participants come not only from Montclair itself but also from the adjacent NJ towns of Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Clifton, Little Falls, Cedar Grove, Verona, and West Orange.
During its first year, Montclair Mutual Aid volunteers have organized and run a variety of aid activities and collaborations, including:
- Food drive and food distribution with Montclair Moms of Color.
- Toiletries drive and distribution.
- Free books distribution, with free ice cream.
- Weekly community food gardening, harvesting, and distribution.
- Installation/operation of 7 free food pantry kiosks, with NE Earth Coalition & other groups.
- Weekly free food deliveries to seniors and other residents for Toni’s Kitchen.
- Community free monthly food distribution events with live music performances, with Parents Who Rock and Toni’s Kitchen.
- Art auction fundraiser.
- Collect and distribute free air conditioners during hot weather.
- Free furniture distribution events.
- International Women’s Day collection/distribution event for menstrual products.
- Collection, placement, and ongoing replenishment of free menstrual product baskets, to combat period poverty, with Montclair Menstrual Club.
- Science equipment drive for kids in Montclair’s 4th Ward, with Project Oasis.
- Senior home yard clean up.
- Holiday gift drive and distribution.
- Clean water bottling and distribution, with Newark Water Coalition.
- Direct giving of emergency cash for rent, utility bills, diapers, personal items, with donations from Montclair Quaker Meeting, Montclair Beyond Policing, Sunrise Montclair, and St Cassian Girl Scouts.
- Publicity for crowdfunding of individual and family needs.
- Seniors list for free food delivery in the 4th Ward, with Montclair YMCA.
- Free pickup/shopping/delivery service for seniors and others who can’t get out.
- Local shuttle planning to improve grocery/shopping access for 4th Ward food desert.
- Employment mutual aid support/discussion group.
- Research and create a resource website for critical needs (montclairmutualaid.org).
The mission of Montclair Mutual Aid is to foster an ongoing network of people and groups in Montclair to help one another meet critical needs.
Montclair Mutual Aid operates as a non-hierarchical, consensus-governed organization. We hold semimonthly general meetings and are organized as a collection of semi-autonomous affinity groups on specific projects.
We do not categorize participants as “givers” or “receivers” of aid: all community members are included, giving what they can and taking what they need. Montclair Mutual Aid participants and volunteers are multi‑diverse, from all neighborhoods of Montclair and adjacent towns, of all ages and genders and orientations, from many races and ethnicities, at all economic levels, with all educational backgrounds.