Little free pantries in the Montclair area are open 24 hours a day and offer free food for people in immediate need. Local residents contribute nonperishable food and keep the pantries stocked. There are five outdoor pantries nearby. Take what you need; give what you can:
Human Needs Food Pantry (9 Label Street, humanneedsfoodpantry.org, +1 973-746-4669) provides free grocery bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, canned and dry goods (tuna, pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables. etc.), soap, shampoo, and other personal-care items. Tuesday or Thursday, 12:30–2:30pm.
MESH Café (15 Trinity Place, meshmontclair.org) serves free grab-and-go meals from the Salvation Army parking lot. Free take-away bags provided by our faith partners and generous local restaurants are available from 4:30pm to 5:30pm from Monday to Saturday.
free emergency bags of food, Monday–Friday 9am–4pm;
free lunch meals, Monday–Wednesday 11:30am;
free breakfast meals, Wednesday 9am.
Geyer Family YMCA branch (159 Glenridge Avenue, montclairymca.org, +1 973-783-7640) offers a Family Meal program to encourage children and families to explore healthy cooking together. Each week, new recipes developed by Montclair Community Farms are available, and families are invited to “shop” for ingredients and grocery staples at the MCF Farm Stand and Toni’s Kitchen food truck, free of charge. No documentation or residency required. Every Wednesday, 2:30–3:30pm, in the YMCA parking lot.
YMCA of Montclair (25 Park Street, +1 973-744-3400, montclairymca.org) provides free boxes of fruits and vegetables, Friday 9am.
First Seventh-Day Adventist Church (15 Elmwood Avenue, +1 973-746-1911) provides free soup kitchen meals, second Sunday and last Sunday each month, 12–2pm.
Bethel Rehoboth Church (55 Lawrence Street, Bloomfield, +1 973-566-9100, essexresourcenet.org) provides food packages and meals, Thursdays 5–7pm, second and fourth Saturdays of each month 11am–1pm.
Bloomfield Presbyterian Church (2 Church Street, Bloomfield, +1 973-743-1796, bpcog.org) provides food packages every Wednesday and Friday 9:30–11am and on the fourth monthly Saturday 10am–12pm, rear parking lot.
MEND (Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity), an interfaith network of 20 food pantries in Essex County (+1 862-250-5216, mendnj.org), provides a list of free food pantry locations that are open every day of the week.
Joi’s Angels (114 South Arlington Avenue, East Orange, joisangels.com, +1 973-395-4348, email@example.com) provides provides food (wholesome groceries, fresh fruit, produce, meats) at free pantry or market sites, essential goods (diapers, baby formula, personal hygiene products, feminine hygiene products), youth programs (sanctuary, afterschool, weekend, summer opportunities, volunteer work, civic engagement), shelter (men’s residence), and low-cost housing.
CFBNJ (Community Food Bank of New Jersey) provides a search engine of food assistance resources. Or text “FindFood” (for English) or “Comida” (for Spanish) to +1 908-224-7776 to have information sent to your phone.