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Have questions?

We’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions to help you.
For any questions not answered below, please call 856.662.4884 or email

Food Assistance

Food Assistance

How do I know if I qualify for food assistance?

To receive assistance from a pantry, please bring proof of New Jersey residency. Anything that has your name and address on it (that you didn’t write yourself) qualifies as proof. This can be state-issued ID, a utility bill, etc. Most of the food at our pantries comes from the USDA which means you will need to qualify. You qualify for this federal food if you are on one of the following programs TANF, SSI, WIC, SNAP (food stamps), or Medicaid OR you are at or below 185% of the federal poverty level OR you have been affected by a disaster (example if you have experienced hardships due to COVID-19) or special circumstance. You will need to share information about how you qualify with the pantry staff/volunteer, but you do not need to bring any paperwork with you. If you don’t qualify for the federal food, most pantries will have other items that you can receive.

Do I have to live in the town that the food pantry/food distribution is located?

No. As long as you are a New Jersey resident, you can get food from one of our pantries, soup kitchens, or mobile sites (Hope Mobiles or Pop-up Pantries).

What kind of documentation do I need to bring?

Just proof of New Jersey residency! Anything that has your name and address on it (that you didn’t write yourself) qualifies as proof. This can be state issued ID, a utility bill, etc. Other information will be collected from you verbally.

Should I bring anything else with me?

No, although you may find it helpful to bring a shopping cart if the pantry is not using a drive-thru model. You can always call the pantry in advance (using the phone number on our zip code locator) to ask how they set up their distributions.

What if I don’t drive/don’t have transportation?

Do you have any friends or family with transportation who can either drive you or pick up food on your behalf? Do you have a case manager or social worker? For someone to pick up food for you they just need to bring your proof of NJ residency with them. Can you get a ride through Access Link? If none of these options are available, please call the Food Bank of South Jersey.

What if a food distribution is cancelled?

We are keeping the zip code locator on our website as up to date as possible. There is always the possibility that a pantry could close and not inform us though so we recommend that you call the pantry to double check that it will be open during its posted operating hours. At many pantries, you will need to leave a message and wait for a call back.

I’ve received food assistance before, but now I am back. Is that okay? Do I need to do anything differently?

Yes, it is okay to receive food assistance more than one time. You are allowed to receive food as many times as you need to. You do not need to do anything differently, but should continue to bring your proof of NJ residency each time.

If I’ve received food from one food distribution, am I allowed to go to a different food distribution?

Yes, it is okay to receive food assistance more than one time. You are allowed to receive food as many times as you need to. You do not need to do anything differently, but should continue to bring your proof of NJ residency each time.

I don’t need food assistance, but I know someone who does, can I get food assistance for them?

Yes. Please bring proof of NJ residency for the person you are picking up for (the other person’s state issued ID or a piece of mail with their name and address on it like a utility bill).

What should I expect when visiting a food distribution?

You should expect to show your proof of New Jersey residency and to verbally provide some information about yourself such as your name and address, number of adults and children in your household, and other programs you participate in (or what brought you to the pantry today). You will receive food in the order that you are registered and pantry staff/volunteers will direct you where to go. Please be aware of social distancing and wear a face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

I am a senior citizen, are there programs for me?

Yes. We offer our Twilight Harvest Senior Feeding Programs for seniors who are age and income qualified. There are two types of the Twilight Harvest Program. Twilight Harvest- Client Choice and Twilight Harvest- CSFP. Seniors who qualify can participate in both. Twilight Harvest- Client Choice operates very similar to a food pantry however operate only in senior living complexes or communities. The qualifications are the same as a food pantry (listed above). Twilight Harvest- CSFP (Commodities Supplemental Food Program) produce food packages specifically designed for seniors using USDA commodities. These food packages are available once a month to qualified seniors. Seniors who qualify must be over 60 years of age, provide proof of New Jersey residency and proof of income at or below 130% of the federal poverty line. Proof of income can include a social security benefit statement or participation in federal and state programs such as TANF, SSI, WIC, SNAP (food stamps), or Medicaid. The food for Twilight Harvest- CSFP arrives to the distribution site pre-packaged and distributed according to the federal program regulations. You can apply for either of these programs by contacting the Food Bank of South Jersey for a listing of open sites available for distribution. If your organization would like to become a program partner and host a distribution please contact the Food Bank of South Jersey for further details.

Pantry, Hope Mobile or Pop-Up Pantry, which is right for me?

Any of them! You should choose a pantry/Hope Mobile/Pop-up based on the location/distribution time that works best for you.


Are volunteers needed?

Volunteers are needed to assist the Food Bank of South Jersey in a variety of projects from sorting donated food and packing emergency food boxes to food distribution at our Pop-Up Pantries and Hope Mobiles.

How do I volunteer?

Please visit our website at to learn more about volunteer opportunities or contact the Volunteer Manager at 856-662-4884 x 160 or

What kind of projects need volunteer assistance?

Here are a few ways volunteers are needed:

  • Emergency Food Box Packing
  • Sorting donated food
  • Food Box Distribution

Is my donation tax deductible?

Food Bank of South Jersey is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record. We’ll send it to you upon successful completion of your donation.

What percentage of my donation goes to the cause?

More than 94.5% of every donation goes directly to our hunger-relief programs and services.

How will I receive acknowledgement for my donation?

You should receive a receipt of your donation electronically at the email address you provided. Should you need further assistance, please email our donation processing team at

How do I make my donation in honor or memory of someone?

On the donation page, check the box next to where it says: Dedicate my donation in honor or in memory of someone. If your honoree has an active email address, you may include it there to send an optional message to your honoree.

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