E’Port Center runs a food pantry in Elizabethport that provides fresh and packaged foods for nearly 4,000 needy people every month. The E’Port pantry is staffed by James Carey, our Social Services Director, Crystal Padilla, a bi-lingual outreach worker, and numerous community volunteers.
Originally, the pantry provided food to eligible persons the last week of the month to accommodate the time the food insecure are most in need — when food stamp and other public assistance runs out. Due to increased demand due to COVID-19, and at the request of the Community Foodbank in Hillside, New Jersey, the E’Port Center now provides fresh vegetables, produce, meats and staples on Fridays and Saturdays every week of the month and every day on the last week of the month to hundreds of those in need. The line for food runs around the block on most days.
The pantry operates out of the basement of 154 First Street, Elizabeth. The E’Port Food Pantry was recognized by the Hillside Food Bank as a “super pantry” due to its responsiveness and the volume of food it is able to distribute efficiently to needy members of the community. The E’Port Pantry gets referrals from the entire City of Elizabeth, supporting clients of many other community organizations as well as the City of Elizabeth. The E’Port pantry has begun doing home deliveries to seniors and shut-ins who are unable, or unwilling to leave their homes to get food.