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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Center for Food Action in New Jersey

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Homeless & Housing, Housing Expense Reduction Support, Human Services

Mission: The Center for Food Action provides emergency food, housing, heating, and utility assistance to low-income people in northern New Jersey. CFA''s staff and volunteers  work with clients to improve their lives through a wide range of direct services including the provision of food, rental payments, security deposits, heating oil, utility payments, advocacy, counseling and referrals to other agencies. Support comes from all segments of the community. We receive food and funds from religious and civic groups, schools, corporate sponsors and individuals.

Results: Hunger takes a physical toll and has a devastating emotional impact on many in the community. This year the CFA will have distributed nearly 50,000 food packages -almost $3 million worth of food - and prevented several hundred families from losing their homes and helped hundreds of households stay warm this winter.

Target demographics: Most of CFA's clients are working people who have hit upon hard times due to an illness, a low paying job, or temporary unemployment. Nearly half of CFA's clients are children and 13% are seniors.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Your support will make a huge difference in the lives of over 16,000 northern New Jersey families.

Programs: The Center for Food Action provides seven-day emergency food packages, supplemental food packages and holiday food packages. CFA also provides nutrition and budgeting workshops for clients and offers a hunger education program for students, scouts, and members of our community. We encourage food donations and visits from Scout troops and school groups and provide a variety of opportunities for community service and service learning.The Statewide Emergency Food and Anti-Hunger Network (SEFAN), established in 1980, provides 900 food pantries and soup kitchens throughout New Jersey with education and assistance. The SEFAN quarterly newsletter provides information on hunger.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Denise98

Volunteer

Rating: 2

I volunteered to pack meals for the CFA. The mission of this organization is top notch and they help many many people in NJ. However, staff of the organization have yet to understand the potential value of a volunteer. One bad volunteer experience is a loss of a potential donor for an organization. I had a bad experience with executive staff during my first volunteering and it turned me (and my future donor dollars) off entirely. I was not alone in my assessment, I got the same feedback on the volunteering experience from several people that day. Rude, dismissive, unfriendly. Opportunity lost for the CFA.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Center for Food Action has always been on the front lines combating hunger and homelessness in our local communities. CFA provides nutritious emergency food packages, rent and utility assistance, counseling and advocacy to many of our hard working neighbors who have fallen on hard times and may not qualify for other services. Our wonderful CFA staff members treat clients with dignity and respect and our volunteers provide countless hours of essential community service. They work day in and out to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people each year. CFA has also been in the forefront of helping those in our community who remain affected by Super Storm Sandy. They have coordinated with several other local charities to make sure these people continue to receive the help they need. I am very proud to sit on the Board of Directors at CFA and encourage everyone to go out and make a difference.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Center for Food Action is, and has been for many years, providing vital food and other services to the communities of Bergen County, New Jersey. CFA's work is both practical and compassionate, and improves the quality of life for all in our communities.
We have been active supporters - as volunteers, contributors, and Board members - for the past 25 years. It has been a wonderful experience.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love what CFA is doing for the community - keep up the good work guys!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Center for Food Action is a non profit that helps NJ families. The organization provides food and other basic needs during difficult times. The people who run and work for CFA are devoted to this organization. They have years of experience knowing how to reach the people who need their help the most. They have tremendous respect for their clients and have a large group of long–term volunteers who continue to work for CFA because they see the good it does and how grateful the recipients are. I am proud to be a part of it.

Donor

Rating: 5

In the 30 plus years that I've supported the Center in Mahwah, I've learned that even more important than the outstanding efficiency and integrity of the people who run CFA is the dignity accorded to the people they serve. There is a seamless flow from donor to recipient, and all are treated with respect.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic organization run by a hard working and caring group. I really enjoy helping give back through this program. They help a very large amount of people and their contribution is immeasurable.

Donor

Rating: 5

CFA provides food packages for people that are struggling to make ends meet. Every year, demand increases, but somehow CFA manages to service ever increasing numbers. I can't imagine anything better than helping a mother feed her family or helping a senior get nutritious food. CFA provides a critical service to our area.

Donor

Rating: 5

We are so lucky to have the Center for Food Action helping so many in our community. My organization, Companion Animal Advocates, provides monthly pet food deliveries to the CFA in Mahwah and Saddle Brook.

They are consistently a pleasure to work with - great partners. Their staff and volunteers are always happy to see us and know that by helping their client's pets, we are also helping their clients.

Keep up the good work CFA!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the director of a subsidized housing apartment building in Paterson, for low-income seniors. CFA has come twice to visit us, bringing wonderful fresh produce to our tenants. The volunteers are extremely helpful and hard-working, the organization is organized and efficient and the produce is top-notch! The tenants are all thrilled to hear they are coming and enjoy nutritious meals for days.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered at the Mahwah site of CFA. I'm the President of Waldwick's Club for Women. Our group has volunteered there twice and actually going again on Saturday. The work they do for the community is awesome. They really take what they do seriously. When we're there we sort, check expiration dates and just really take pride in giving back. So many people depend on this place. You would probably be surprised to find out you may know somebody who needs this service. Keep up the good work CFA and our friend Jim who runs the Mahwah site. We will continue to volunteer and bring donations as long as you need us!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have known about and supported CFA since it began in Englewood. At the time I was administrator at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and had the occasion, very frequently, to see how CFA supported hard working families who, for no fault of their own, were unable to make it from one paycheck to another, how it provided food for children during times when the school lunches were suspended, etc. Since the early days it has expanded and continued to do a wonderful work for the community. Katharine Le Mee

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at the Center all my life and have only the greatest respect for this charity. Their events are well planed and I especially enjoyed helping out at Christmas which is always well run. The Gala is an event I look forward to all year and am always happy with the party. The Center has found a way to remain relevent in a declining donating world and the work they do is remarkable.

1

Donor

Rating: 1

I have attended CFA's wine tasting events for a few years and have to say they are very enjoyable. CFA does a fanastic job at making their donors feel welcome. The highlight of the events is when CFA explains it's mission and future goals, I feel so proud to be standing in the same room as these dedicated volunteers!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at CFA since 1992. It is a wonderful organization that I am proud to be a part of. CFA's mission is to prevent hunger and homelessness and it provides emergency food relief, rent and utility assistance and advocacy to thousands of families, seniors and people who might otherwise fall through the cracks each year. The staff and volunteers work tirelessly and treat their clients with kindness and respect. CFA makes a difference in our local communities every single day.

Donor

Rating: 5

My experience with CFA started about 15 years ago through a charity outreach at work. Since then I have donated to their food drives and worked at at several fund-raising events. As a single mom of three children, I know first hand how being without can bring you down. The work that CFA does is both heart-warming and inspiring. It not only serves the community by providing basic needs and dignity, but CFA provides a way for all of us to give back. The staff is dedicated and professional. Although the economy is bad, hurting charitable contributions, and the number of families and individuals who need assistance is growing, CFA continues to reach out to ensure a good meal and to get them on their feet again..

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first experience with CFA was 17 yrs ago. My company had wanted to set up a holiday food drive and we were directed to CFA as a local food bank that served a large section of our county. At that time I believe they only had 2 pantry locations. Both my company and I have been involved with them ever since. I have watched the need for food and emergency assistance grow since that time and I have been amazed and proud at how CFA has responded to this need. Their pantries now number 8 and clients come to CFA from every town in our county. CFA is a proven leader of services provided in crisis - from the aftermath of 9/11, to relocated victims of Katrina to the current economic downturn - they are there with care and compassion!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with CFA for 18 years. What impresses me is the dedication to the mission of helping people and achieving this through the use of volunteers with limited paid staff and the broad base of support in community from Houses of Worship, schools, individuals, businesses and foundations. Someone once said it takes a "village". CFA plays a critical role in our village as a safety net when people need help now and other services are not available. CFA also does not sit still. Always looking to find better ways. This year the hours are being expanded to nights and weekend to help the working poor. The new snack pack program to reach children is great opportunity to improve the nutrition and insure kids don't go hungry.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Simply put, this is a wonderful organization of dedicate staff and volunteers who are trying to make a difference in their communities. Their kind hearts and creative minds are focused on finding ways to help others. The number of people in need continues to rise as unemployment remains high and government programs continue to decline. During this difficult period, CFA continues to provide assistance to a growing population many of them children who are unable to help themselves. The weekend snack pack program is just one example of how large an impact the work of CFA staffers, volunteers and generous donors can have on improving the lives of people in our communities.

Barbara G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first started volunteering at the CFA pantry in 2000. At first I was very nervous but got over it. It's very heart warming to see what this organization does for our neigbors. I pack groceries once a week and talk with some of our "clients"; sometimes I want to cry, they are so appreciative of what we do for them. Today more than ever we need to band together and help out those less fortunate to put food on their tables for themseves and their children.