You can pick up food in person at our warehouse in Bridgewater on weekdays or at one of our three pantries (Bound Brook, North Plainfield, and Somerville) on Saturdays. You must be registered with us, but you can register and receive food on your first visit.
We require only that you live in Somerset County. Bring a photo ID or other document to verify your identity and current address (a utility bill works!). You will be asked to fill out a form with very basic information about yourself and the people in your household who need food. This guides us to determine the best ways to help you.
The Food Bank does not provide any information on individual clients. We only provide the number of residents we serve, including the towns where our clients live.
The Food Bank always has a variety of fresh produce, meats, dairy products, eggs, cereals, bakery goods, pastas, rice, soups, beans, canned fruits, canned vegetables, juices, snacks, condiments, and tea and coffee. We also stock client favorites such as peanut butter, canned tuna, and macaroni and cheese. Our food may be fresh, frozen, refrigerated, or shelf-stable.
We can also give you diapers, cleaning supplies, paper goods, toiletries, and personal care items. Because these are in limited supply, we do not keep them on the open shelves. Please ask one of our staff for what you want.
You can shop two times per month.
We have broad guidelines for the amount and type of food you can take, in order to ensure that there will be enough for everyone. (For example, one person cannot take home six turkeys!). But there is plenty of freedom for you to browse and choose your own food, and you will never have to take something you don’t want.
We regularly have a wide range of foods suitable for diets that are vegan, gluten-free, low/no-salt, no-sugar, lactose-free, kosher and halal. You can browse our pantry and choose the food that suits your dietary restrictions.
Our warehouse has a much larger client area and a greater selection of products. If you can get to Bridgewater during opening hours (9:00 am to 2:30 pm Mon-Fri), this is your best choice. Otherwise, any one of our satellite pantries open on Saturday can give you a plentiful amount of healthy food and certain other products.
The Food Bank Network gets its donated food and supplies from many sources, such as food drives, individuals, supermarkets, farmers, and truckers; we also receive goods from regional hunger-related charities and government programs. Because these in-kind donations fall short of the large volume and variety we need, we use monetary donations to buy direct from wholesalers and supermarkets. Regardless of the source, all incoming items are inspected and culled before being offered to our clients.