Serving Hudson County’s Progressive Jewish Community for Over 150 Years

Food Pantry & Donation List

When Rav Huna would eat a meal, he would open his door and say, “Whoever is in need, let that person come and eat.”  (Ta’anit 20b.)  Donating food for the food pantry is our way of opening our doors to the hungry.

Although we collect many donations during our High Holiday Food Drive, our obligations to those in need do not end on Yom Kippur. Who will make sure there is food available for those who need it in November, and December, and beyond? We feed our homeless and hungry neighbors in need every Thursday afternoon 5.30-6pm (as of 7/14/22), all year-long. 

So many are in need.

How can you help?

  • Donate food or funds for food. The list of what we need is below.
  • Sign up for a shift at the pantry via the Charity Quest App* (AndroidApple). It’s among the holiest ways to spend an hour.

 We are proud that our Food Pantry has remained open during the entire pandemic feeding our hungry and food insecure neighbors in need. We practice strict and safe social distancing protocols

Please help our temple community do its part so that no man, woman or child goes to bed hungry by adding these items to your shopping list each month. Items can be dropped off any time on the donation table in the sanctuary.

  • New, packaged, men’s and women’s underwear and socks
  • Small containers of fruit and applesauce
  • Pull-top cans of soup (no dairy or pork)
  • Microwaveable meals
  • Packets of tuna or other fish.
  • Small or medium containers of CREAMY peanut butter and jelly.
  • Chicken, beef or veg ramen packets
  • Pull-top cans of beans
  • Chewy granola bars
  • Individual packages of cereal
  • Individual packages of baby food
  • Feminine products
  • Diapers

No glass containers, please.

Please note that TBE is not in a position to take donations of used clothing at this time.

Thank you!

Can you spare a smile?

Help distribute donated food and other items on Thursdays, from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm. (Guests arrive 5:30 – 6:00 or until we run out of food.)

To volunteer, please download the Charity Quest App* (AndroidApple). It has direct links to volunteer and donate.

Signing up through the App will make it easier for us to track. Team leaders (those with keys) should not sign up. Just let Karen and Laura know when you can go. Once someone registers, we will provide contact info to the team leader.

Food Pantry during COVID-19

While heeding the mitzvah and federal, state, and local public health officials to engage in aggressive “social distancing,” we also take seriously our responsibility to help others. In the absence of organized city alternatives, we will be continuing to run our food pantry with the following modifications. You can still help.

The people who visit Temple Beth-El’s food pantry are often homeless or live in severely dilapidated housing conditions. While we worry about being cooped up at home, they may not have a home to be cooped up in. While we worry about cooking dinner every night, they may not have a functional kitchen to cook in. And while we worry about depleting our financial reserves, they lack any financial savings or source of income.

During these difficult times, then, it is all the more essential that we keep our food pantry open as long as possible. To do so, we need your help. Here are some ways you can help serve our pantry:

(1) DONATE. We rely on personal donations of food to keep our pantry running. Please consider making a contribution.

  • For ease, we have set up an Amazon Wishlist, available here. You can have your items ordered directly to Temple Beth-El, 2419 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07304. We also encourage you to set up a “subscribe and save” monthly order for your donation. We are happy to provide donation receipts for your taxes at the end of the year.
  • You can also, of course, purchase food and bring it to the temple. Please coordinate with our office manager, Bob Kahan, at, for a time to drop off your donation. You can also bring your donation to the pantry when it is open on Wednesday evenings from 5.30-7pm.
  • If you cannot donate food, you can make a financial donation. Please mark the designation “Something else” and write “food pantry” in the comments box.

(2) VOLUNTEER. Our pantry is open on Thursday evenings, and we need volunteers from 5:30pm – 7:00pm. Volunteers will pack bags starting at 5:30pm; the pantry opens at 6:00pm and stays open until approximately 6:30pm, at which time volunteers close the pantry and clean up.

  • Please sign up via email to Please do not come to the pantry without signing up. We want to ensure appropriate social distancing by having only 2-3 volunteers at any given time.
  • We will practice appropriate hygiene and social distancing at the pantry, including: (1) volunteers must wash hands immediately upon entering the building; (2) volunteers must wear gloves while packing and handing out food (which will be provided) and will be limited to 3 people; (3) bags must be handed out directly from volunteers to pantry visitors at the front door – no rummaging through bags or items, and no visitors are allowed inside the building at all (including the foyer).

Thank you so much for your support in keeping our food pantry running during these difficult times. And please stay safe and well.

*The TBE Food Pantry is thrilled to partner with Charity Quest, (formerly Hoboken Charity Quest), a free & open network that helps volunteers find charitable opportunities in the Hoboken and Jersey City area. Local charities, including TBE, use the service to post “Quests” (on-site volunteer opportunities) to the world map of our area. Volunteers can make a free account using either the mobile app or website, browse volunteer opportunities, and sign up for anything that fits into their schedule. Local charities can also post details about how to donate supplies, donate cash, or apply for a long-term role at the charity. The network is accountability based, meaning charities take attendance at each Quest. That data is automatically shared with partners like local schools and houses of faith in order to help students keep track of their required service hours. Please consider registering with Charity Quest to volunteer at the TBE food pantry, or make a direct in line donation via a direct link to the TBE donations page and Amazon wish list. There is no fee for this service either to users or TBE.

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