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Recent Events – CUMAC / ECHO

cumac-logoCUMAC is a large scale feeding program in Paterson, NJ. Our food pantry is currently feeding about 3,100 people each month, up from 2,600 last year at this time, which itself represented a 65% increase in need. Meanwhile our food depot provides food and support to a network of 55 smaller pantries; our Community Closet provides support to victims of disaster; our after school program provides a safe learning environment for 30 disadvantaged youth; Pathways to Work offers comprehensive job training to over 250 individuals a year; and our seasonal collections offer backpacks, holiday gifts and other items to children in need.

Location
CUMAC ECHO
223 Ellison Street
Paterson, NJ 07505

The Mission

Assist CUMAC with organizing and packaging bags of food for their clients and inventorying and assembling furniture and other household items for the Community Closet. Upon arrival, volunteers will be given a tour and a comprehensive explanation of how the programs work to address the growing need in the community.

How We Made a Difference

We wanted to volunteer our time to CUMAC but we also wanted to contribute by donating food ourselves. In preparation for the day, several team members shopped at Costco to buy in “bulk” and stretch our allowance as far as it would go. Some nonperishable items we purchased included diapers, canned soup, jarred tomato sauce, box juices and dry pasta. On volunteer day, half of our team sorted larger quantities of fresh produce donated by local supermarkets and repackaged them into individual portions large enough to feed a family of 4. The second half of the team sorted, weighed and packed dry goods to be disbursed by other, smaller charitable organizations. Overall it was an amazing experience. Our team walked away with a greater appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes of a food pantry as well as all of us wanting to do more.

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