Real-life ‘superhero’ organizes food distribution program for those in need

His name is Phil Stafford, but many people know him by another name – “Superman.” And Stafford also does whatever it takes to help those in need.

Matt Trapani and Kurt Siegelin

Nov 7, 2023, 3:30 AM

Updated 207 days ago

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His name is Phil Stafford – but many people know him by another name – “Superman.”
“Superman is exactly what he was on TV and in the comic books. Somebody needs help, they call for help, he’s just there and does whatever it takes,” Stafford says.
And Stafford also does whatever it takes to help those in need.
At a Wawa in Garfield, he picks up donated food with an approaching expiration date. Pastries and bread that would otherwise be thrown out but are still good. He'll quickly get them to food banks to make sure they don't go to waste.
At a warehouse in Little Ferry, he rolls another delivery to the door, with items like pancakes, pasta and sugar.
"People come up and they thank me. Sometimes they're crying. I know what it is not to have things you need,” Stafford says.
In 1999, Stafford lost everything to Hurricane Floyd.
“You can’t understand what that does to you inside,” he says. “And this makes it all better.”
Fifteen years later, Stafford created a North Jersey food network that feeds about 2,000 families ever week.
"I can't even imagine anything that would be as fulfilling as this. When they know Superman's coming. They're all happy because they know they're getting help. This is what I was meant to do for the rest of my life,” he says.
Stafford says his dream is to make his food network statewide. Anyone who would like to volunteer or donate warehouse space can get more information at Stafford’s website.


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