Information on the services we provide
Below is a listing of the core services offered at the Open Cupboard Food Pantry.
Open by Appointment for Food Distribution
Open Cupboard Food Pantry feeds over 400 families a year in northern Hunterdon County, New Jersey. As a registered nonprofit engaged in food distribution, by law we must determine client eligibility for services based on federal income guidelines. Households are eligible to come to the Pantry if they are within maximum income levels allowed for the number of people in the household. All income for each person, such as unemployment, Social Security, pensions and other aid from the state or federal government, must be included in that total.
Once qualified, clients can come twice each month to pick up food, household products and personal care items. Clients must make appointments to come to the Pantry for the simple reason that our waiting area has limited seating, and our staff can handle only so many people per day, following established protocols. If you choose to walk in, we will do our best to serve you, but please be advised that we might have to ask you to return another day by appointment.
On the first visit, a client must fill out paperwork, and one of our friendly, compassionate volunteers will guide you through it. Within a reasonable amount of time, you must provide documentation for all household income. If you fail to provide the required information, we will advise you that you can no longer receive food until your documentation is complete. In January of each year, all clients must complete new paperwork and provide new proof(s) of income.
Each time you come in, you must complete or bring with you a completed order form for what you would like to receive. While you are waiting for your order to be filled, you are able to pick a set number of items from the shelves in the waiting area. You are also able to select from any breads, pastries and fresh produce that we may have available.
The Pantry is open to pick up food Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Use our Electronic Shopping List to complete your order in advance.
NOTE: Open Cupboard Food Pantry hours may change according to changing needs. Check back here or follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date information.
Find a Treasure; Help a Neighbor
Established in 2002 as part of Open Cupboard Food Pantry, our Thrift Shop generates funds that cover our overhead (rent, insurance, utilities), with any excess proceeds going to purchase fresh food for Pantry clients.
All of our Thrift Shop stock comes from generous Hunterdon County residents who contribute clothing and other household goods for resale in our shop. Our volunteers take in, sort, price and display the items for sale at bargain prices.
Over the years, the quality and affordability of items in our Thrift Shop have attracted a dedicated following of bargain hunters. Many customers come in two or three times a week just to see what is in stock. Often, they might stop in for one small item and end up buying several beautiful things to wear or use to decorate their homes and workplaces. It’s not unusual for items to fly out the door the same day we put them out. Shoppers are heard happily exclaiming over their purchases at the cash register. Shop volunteers also enjoy seeing what comes in and often become customers themselves. We have half-price sales monthly on select items, and pop-up sales weekly.
Donations come from individuals’ closets, estate sales, community-wide yard sales, local stores’ overstock, and other sources. Thrift Shop volunteers ensure that items are in good shape before being offered for sale. If something comes in stained, broken, dirty, or chipped, it doesn’t make it to our shelves or racks.
All proceeds support the Open Cupboard Food Pantry, located on the premises. Since its inception, the Thrift Shop has contributed income sufficient to purchase over 2.1 million pounds of food to feed hungry families in our community. The Food Pantry feeds more than 400 area families each year.
The Thrift Shop is open to shoppers Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday, 4:30 to 7 p.m.
For more information about helping our hungry neighbors by donating items, please call 908-730-7320 or email us at opencupboardfoodPantry@comcast.net.
You can also help by sending a check to Open Cupboard Food Pantry, P.O. Box 5071, Clinton, NJ 08809, or contributing through PayPal.
Give Back by Contributing Time and Talent
Open Cupboard Food Pantry, Inc., and our Thrift Shop, depend on volunteers who give of their time and expertise to help with all facets of our operations. Some of the responsibilities volunteers take on include:
• Speaking with prospective clients to welcome them, explaining and guiding them through our qualification process, helping them place their orders online.
• Setting out refrigerated food items for clients to choose from, discarding any spoiled items, making sure everything is fresh.
• Scheduling appointments, waiting on clients when they come in with their order forms, directing them to shelves with additional choices, filling and packing up their orders.
• Taking in donations to the Thrift Shop, as well as sorting, pricing, displaying, and deciding what to feature for pop-up sales.
• Determining what items might sell well on eBay, listing them, monitoring offers, closing sales and arranging shipping.
• Waiting on Thrift Shop customers, serving them just as salespeople would in any high-traffic retail store, running the register, wrapping and bagging.
• Helping with various administrative tasks, as needed.
Hours on the job are as few or as many as a volunteer wishes to give. If you have two hours to contribute on Wednesday mornings, we’ll be happy to schedule you for two hours on those mornings. If you can do a couple of hours three days a week, we’ll schedule you accordingly. If working in the Thrift Shop is preferable to the Food Pantry – or vice versa – we’ll accommodate your preference. If you know brands and clothing values, you’re a natural for pricing donations to the Thrift Shop. If you love helping people figure out menus and make food choices, we’ll find a slot for you in the Food Pantry.
Want to volunteer?
Open Cupboard Food Pantry is open, by appointment only, Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The Thrift Shop is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Visit us on Facebook for the most up-to-date days and hours that we’re open.