Planet Princeton

Crisis Ministry Needs Your Help: Fire at Trenton Pantry Means Food and Supply Shortage

The Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, a nonprofit that works to prevent hunger and homelessness in our area and is a lifeline for thousands of local residents,  endured a crisis of its own early this morning when a fire broke out in the food pantry at the agency’s Hanover Street building in Trenton.

Firefighters from the Trenton Fire Department responded quickly and stopped the fire in under an hour, but damage to the food pantry was extensive.

The Crisis Ministry needs help replacing all the food lost in the pantry. You can also help by making a financial donation to the Crisis Ministry so that they can purchase items to serve individuals and families in the next week leading up to Christmas. Checks can be made out to the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton or you can donate online at thecrisisministry.org.

The following items are needed most:

– Canned proteins (tuna, salmon, chicken, chili), shelf-stable milk (like Parmalat), peanut butter, canned potatoes, cans of Fruit (low-fructose), hot cereal (oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat), and small/medium boxes of cold cereal.

– 1-2 lb. boxes of pasta; boxed macaroni and cheese;, 2 lb.  bags of rice; 1 lb. packages of dried beans

– Honey (plastic container), toothbrushes and toothpaste; shampoos and conditioners, razors and shaving cream; soaps and lotions, feminine products

Drop-off locations are being set up at area churches. So far Nassau Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, and the First Presbyterian Church of Trenton are serving as drop-off locations.

Until the clean-up is complete, the Crisis Ministry is looking into alternatives in Trenton for a temporary pantry operation, including the agency’s new satellite pantry at the former Bethany Presbyterian Church in the Chambersburg neighborhood.

The Crisis Ministry hopes to regain phone and computer access at its Trenton location soon, and expects to be operating in a limited  capacity by Tuesday in the agency’s space next to the pantry at 121 E. Hanover St., which was undamaged.

In a letter about the fire, Carolyn Biondi, executive director of the Crisis Ministry, expressed gratitude for the quick response from firefighters, the help offered by area churches, volunteers, clients, and partners, and the phone calls of support from fellow nonprofit agencies and partners.

“In the meantime we already have much to be thankful for,” she wrote of the outpouring of support. “We hope to share updates with you soon as we make progress toward restoration.”

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Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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