Nonprofit Profile: nourish.NJ — From providing meals to fighting food insecurity

By ROI-NJ Staff
Northern New Jersey | Feb 20, 2020 at 5:30 am
From our print edition

Origin

Founded in 1984 by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church as the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown, nourish.NJ was an emergency food provider for many years. Our recent name change to nourish.NJ represents a strategic shift to providing programs that address the underlying causes of hunger, poverty and homelessness. Our four areas of focus are: food, housing, employment and health & wellness.

Mission

At nourish.NJ, we create lasting solutions to the problems of hunger, homelessness and poverty. We offer fresh and healthy food, housing, work readiness, medical, social and educational services 365 days a year in a warm, safe and caring environment, free of charge, no questions asked.

Goals

In 2020, nourish.NJ will take our proven model of success and embark upon a geographic expansion of our programs, bringing services and food to underserved communities in other areas of Morris County. This expansion will allow us to bring our life-changing services to thousands more people, distribute an additional 250,000 pounds of fresh produce and collaborate with dozens more nonprofit and corporate partners.

Achievements

In 36 years of operation, our doors have opened every single day, 365 days a year, despite blizzards, hurricanes and floods. Over the last three years, nourish.NJ has helped over 100 people find and keep employment, and helped about as many secure permanent housing. We’ve also forged a partnership with the County College of Morris, Titans Table, to create food pantries on campus for students struggling with food insecurity. A recent partnership with the Morristown Housing Authority has brought healthy food and services to hundreds of vulnerable low- income seniors and 270 working poor families.

Additionally, in 2019, we reduced our carbon footprint and eliminated all plastic and styrofoam from our operation and rescued 350,000 pounds of food from local retailers that would have gone to waste.

Programs

There are a myriad of programs at nourish.NJ to provide guests with the support and tools they need to be self-sufficient. Our programs address the underlying causes of poverty and homelessness and include: housing assistance, employment programs, mental health counseling and medical case management. In addition, we serve two nutritious meals a day and distribute 500,000 pounds of fresh produce through our Free Farmers Markets.

Fundraising

We do not accept government funding at nourish.NJ, and are entirely funded through donations and grants. We have partnerships with nearly 100 corporations through our Sponsor the Day program, which provides Employee Engagement opportunities for corporate teams. We also host two large fundraising events each year: Share the Bounty in April and our Hunger Walk in October.

Benefactors

We are fortunate to receive donations from thousands of individuals, families, congregations and corporations throughout the year. Our key corporate partners include: Bloomberg, Bank of America, the New York Jets, Bayer Healthcare, Covanta, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Peapack-Gladstone Bank and many others. Our expansion will provide opportunities for many more to support our mission.

Finally

We are changing the way New Jersey impacts hunger, homelessness and poverty. Through barrier-free, community-based, diverse volunteer-led initiatives, we will change the course for families living in poverty and help communities in our state prosper and thrive.

In brief

Location: Morristown
Serving: The working poor and homeless communities of northern New Jersey.
Key members: Teresa Connolly, executive director, and a staff of 21, including eight full-time.

Conversation Starter

To learn more go to: nourishnj.org, or contact Terry Connolly, executive director, at: terry@nourishnj.org to come see us in action or join us!

ROI-NJ Staff | editorial@roi-nj.com | @roinjnews