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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

April 26, 2023

CONTACT:

Derek Sands

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FRANCISCAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CENTER OPENS REIMAGINED FOOD PANTRY SPACE IN FAIRVIEW

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Fairview, NJ – The Franciscan Community Development Center of Fairview celebrated the grand re-opening of its food pantry space, which after months of renovation has been transformed into a client choice pantry model for the residents of Fairview, the first of its kind in the community.

 

Made possible by a partnership between Bergen County, the Archdiocese of Newark, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, and Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County – demolition of the existing pantry began in October 2022, with pantry operations moving to a temporary space on church grounds. With the help of the Habitat for Humanity Grey Heads and donated services and materials from RSC Architects and the Kuiken Brothers Company, the pantry was rebuilt and reimagined from the ground up. Improvements to the space include a redesigned layout that will allow for the client choice pantry model, a new walk-in refrigerator and freezer to help Franciscan receive more perishable items like meats and fresh produce, a redesigned loading and receiving area for deliveries, and a new ADA compliant entrance and bathroom for clients among others. The opening of the new pantry space will also allow FCDC to convert their temporary pantry space to help provide additional services and programs for clients.

 

“The Franciscan Community Development Center is a community lifeline for thousands of residents in eastern Bergen County every single day. Thanks to critical funds provided by the County’s Food Security Task Force and the pro-bono efforts of several local partners, the newly completed renovations grant the FCDC the ability to expand their efforts and continue to serve their residents with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “Know that Bergen County remains steadfast in our commitment to support our emergency food providers through the Task Force as we work towards ending hunger in Bergen County once and for all.” 

 

“Today we unveil a new beginning at the FCDC, to expand food access with dignity,” said Bergen County Commissioner Tracy Zur. “This renovation, which exemplified collaboration between all sectors, will enable a choice-style food pantry and an even greater abundance of healthy food to be distributed. They will be changing health outcomes and changing lives.”

   

“Thank you to the many partners in this project, who through their efforts will help turn Fairview from a food desert to an oasis,” said Su Colacurcio, Director of the Franciscan Community Development Center. “The work that everyone has put in here lives up to the code of St. Francis: we did what was necessary and what was possible – in order to make the impossible happen.”

 

It was truly a privilege to work on this project with such a dedicated group of people who do so much for their community,” said Theresa Caparreli, Executive Director of Bergen County Habitat for Humanity.

 

Throughout the construction and renovation of the pantry, Franciscan remained open and continued to serve the nearly 800 families and 4000 individuals that come through their doors every month.  The improvements made at the food pantry will help FCDC continue to meet the needs of the community they see every day and continue serving the residents of Fairview with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

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