On Thursday, February 10, Community leaders, elected officials, and Mercy Center staff, celebrated the ribbon cutting and grand opening of our newly expanded food pantry for our neighbors in need in the Greater Asbury Park Area.

“This is Black History Month. It is appropriate that Mercy Center publicly recognizes the inequities in our community for all our neighbors and improves the experience for those we serve. It is our mission to empower, enrich, and educate, and our newly expanded pantry does just that with an improved experience for our neighbors in need. We provide emergency services to anyone who walks through the pantry door and social services next door to help them improve their overall situation,” said Kim Guadagno, our Executive Director.

“The increased capacity in the pantry, complete with new refrigerators, shelving and ramp access, help to provide equality for families who are food insecure by providing them with an expanded variety of foods, including more meats and dairy. We are grateful to all who helped make these enhancements possible,” added Justice Mary Catherine Cuff, Board Vice Chair.

After the ribbon cutting, neighborhood families “shopped” for groceries in the pantry and were given special Valentine’s Day bags filled with chocolates.

Sincere appreciation goes to Fulfill Food Bank for the donation of the new refrigerators, shelves, and carts with CARES Act funding. Special thanks also to our volunteers, including: the Knights of Columbus Council #15964 for painting the pantry, to the Christian Brothers Academy Crew Team for assisting with moving, packing, and storage, and to St. Mark’s That Man is You group for assembling the carts.