Rosemary Gilmartin – Interfaith Food Pantry - 11/25/14
Today I had the opportunity to visit the Interfaith Food Pantry (IFP) where I awarded my 31st NJ Hero, Rosemary Gilmartin, the Executive Director of the 20 year old organization. Rosemary started at Interfaith Food Pantry as a volunteer in 1995 and was asked to become their Executive Director a year and a half later.
It was great to visit the IFP and learn about all the great programs they have there. I was able to see their community garden, which coincidentally was implemented with the help of another NJ Hero, MEVO Earth. Heroes helping Heroes! I also visited the IFP’s kitchen, where they have implemented a great cooking class program for their clientele to teach them how to cook nutritious meals. I headed into the pantry area, where I had the opportunity to help a young women in need do her grocery shopping with the help of an “IFP shopper”. This pantry is a client-need based program that enables clients to better meet dietary needs and restrictions since many have chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and food allergies. I wrapped up my tour of the IFP in their very impressive warehouse. I helped do some food sorting and packing boxes with my daughter, Bridget, and some of my board members. We really enjoyed volunteering our time today, especially during the week of Thanksgiving. It was a great way for us to kick off this Season of Service. I have to thank Judy Spires, the President & CEO of Kings Food Markets. Kings is our first NJ corporation to sponsor one of our Heroes. It was great to see her and her team yesterday and we are so appreciative of their support!
The Interfaith Food Pantry, with the help of its staff and volunteers, is able to distribute more than 15,000 pounds of food to over 300 families every week. Thanks to their Thanksgiving Basket Program, many families will be able to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving meal that would not have been possible without the Interfaith Food Pantry. I am so grateful for people like Rosemary, her staff, and her volunteers that come to work every day to help improve the lives of others. I am proud to name her my 31st NJ Hero!
For more information on the Interfaith Food Pantry, please visit their website: http://www.mcifp.org/.