Mission gave Mercer Street Food Bank a head start

Mission gave Mercer Street Food Bank a head start

Monday, December 13, 2010 SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Since 1987, the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank has been leading the fight to end hunger in the greater Mercer County region, channeling food in our community to ensure that the most vulnerable of our citizens do not go hungry.

This past year, the Food Bank distributed close to 3 million pounds of food and groceries through its network of 55 local charities that include various pantries, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, HomeFront, Crisis Ministries and Mount Carmel Guild, among others.

The Food Bank's initial home was in space that was provided to it at no charge by the Rescue Mission of Trenton.

"To get the Food Bank started, we needed a place to receive and distribute food, and the Rescue Mission stepped up to the plate and offered use of their facility without hesitation," said Phyllis Stoolmacher, longtime director of the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank.

"This is so typical of the Mission and (Rescue Mission CEO) Mary Gay (Abbott-Young), who always says yes when asked by another nonprofit if she could provide a truck or some guys when one is in pinch. I do not know how Trenton and the community would fare without this wonderful organization and their staff."

"We are extremely proud to have helped to give life to the food bank," said Abbott-Young. "Its growth has been truly remarkable. One of the reasons we were able for the sixth straight year to earn a coveted 4-star efficiency rating from Charity Navigator is because of the thousands of dollars we save through our membership in the Food Bank."

Funds from this year's Holiday Appeal will be used to support the Rescue Mission's broad range of programs for the homeless, the hungry, the transient and the addicted.

To make a donation towardin support of the Rescue Mission of Trenton, please make your check payable to The Times Holiday Appeal and mail it to Times Charities Inc., P.O. Box 416045, Boston, MA 02241-6045.

Donations to The Times Holiday Appeal will go directly to the designated nonprofit organization without the deduction of overhead expenses.

All gifts will be acknowledged in The Times. Anonymity will be granted if requested.

For more information about the Rescue Mission of Trenton, call (609) 695-1436, ext. 102, or go to www.rescuemissionoftrenton.org

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98 Carroll Street, P.O. Box 790 * Trenton, NJ 08605-0790