Helping to Feed the Needy in Our Community

The Bodhi Monastery Food Pantry distributes food to approximately 100 people from Sussex County every Friday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am, providing non-perishable food and some produce to those people who qualify for the programs. The needs of people in Sussex County grow greater every month and every year. What was once a program to help the temporarily needy has become a way of life for struggling families who just can’t seem to keep up with today’s high prices and cost of living.

The Food Pantry consists of three programs: the USDA, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Food Program, and the Bodhi Food Program. Donors to the programs are NORWESCAP,

the USDA, area grocers, area vendors, and local citizens. The Food Pantry is also part of a United Way sponsored local pantry co-op and Shoprite’s “Partnership in Caring” program. The volunteer group Pass It Along also works in conjunction with the Food Pantry. The Center for Prevention and Counseling, a local, non-profit social service organization, solicits donations for the Food Pantry and provides volunteers to help. The Food Pantry receives referrals from Sussex County Social Services and Newton Hospital Mental Health Department.

The Food Pantry is mainly staffed by volunteers from the local community and Bodhi Monastery volunteers. In addition to handing out food, volunteers have formed relationships with their clients. What is most impressive is the clients’ willingness to help each other and to give back to the Food Pantry. Some of the clients have even become volunteers. Each week, 6 or 7 clients stay after hours to make sure the pantry is cleaned properly. One client volunteer is the pantry’s recording secretary and another coordinates weekly produce and bakery items.


Ways to Donate

The gift of money

The gift of money goes a much longer way for the purchase of food. For example, the Food Pantry can purchase a pick-up bed full of groceries from NORWESCAP for just $150. This is because NORWESCAP only charges the Food Pantry for the cost of handling. You can either write a check to NORWESCAP with a memo “Bodhi Monastery Food Pantry purchase” or to Bodhi Monastery for “purchase of Food Pantry groceries.”


We are always in need of more volunteers on Friday mornings to help with food distribution. We also sometimes need help with picking up food.

Food Drives and Food Supplies

Individuals and organizations can help by running a food drive or supplying food (non-perishable).