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PJ’s Pancake House Volunteers to Serve as Food Drop-Off Location for Crisis Ministry

PJ's Pancake House on Nassau Street.

PJ’s Pancake House has stepped up to help out the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton by offering to serve as a drop-off site for donations to the non-profit agency that lost all its food and supplies at its Trenton food pantry location last Friday because of a fire.

Starting Tuesday, Dec. 20, you can bring canned and boxed goods and toiletries for Crisis Ministry to PJ’s Pancake House during business hours and drop them in to a bucket located inside the restaurant, near the front door. Each time the bucket is full, Dan Bauer, the public relations director at McCarter Theatre, has volunteered to be the food donation mule and schlep the items over to the Crisis Ministry’s Princeton location at Nassau Presbyterian Church.

“We’re glad to do our part as a local business to support such a worthy organization that is a lifeline to so many people in need in our community,” said John Procaccini, the new owner of PJ’s.

The fire broke out at the Crisis Ministry’s Hanover Street location in Trenton around 1:30 a.m. Friday. Firefighters responded quickly and were able to put the fire out in under an hour, but the fire and smoke damage ruined the food int he pantry.

You can donate food and toiletry items or 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 and after 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

PJ’s, located at 154 Nassau Street, is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and from 7 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.

Three area churches are also serving as drop-off locations: Nassau Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, and the First Presbyterian Church of Trenton.

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.”

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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