Meadowlands YMCA joins program to become traditional food pantry

After 19 months of weekly food distributions, the Meadowlands YMCA in East Rutherford is becoming a staple in fighting food insecurity in Bergen County.
A food drive held at the YMCA on Tuesday marks the beginning of its transition to becoming a traditional food pantry. The organization will join the Bergen County Food Security Task Force in its pilot food pantry program.
It comes as the county works to keep residents fed as the pandemic and related supply chain and inflation issues persist.
"Hunger isn't necessarily the feeling you have in your stomach. It's the realization that 'I can't support myself or my family anymore, and I have to go sit in a line or make an appointment to go to a food bank to get food,” says Meadowlands YMCA President & CEO David Kisselback. “This is critical, not just our food bank, but all of the food banks in the region of helping feed our neighbors, our family, our friends."
The YMCA will now hold monthly food distribution drives.
Since the pandemic began, the organization has fed more than 100,000 families and distributed 1.7 million meals to people in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties.