HANOVER — The Interfaith Food Pantry Network (IFPN) will host its annual spring gala Sustaining Hope, at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Birchwood Manor at 111 North Jefferson Road, Whippany.
Tickets to this fundraising event are $250 each and include a cocktail reception, dinner, silent and live auctions, table prizes, and DJ and dancing. They can be purchased by clicking here.
IFPN will honor Barclays, a British universal bank, as its Outstanding Service Award recipient for its partnership in the execution of IFPN’s strategic efforts.
The Margaret A. Darrin Charitable Trust will receive the Pantry Partner Award for funding the expansion and renovation of its Healthy Choices Marketplace and Resource Center.
IFPN volunteers and Chester residents Chris and Jim MacDonald will receive the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Award for their long-term commitment and support of the IFPN over the last 20 years for their work, including Chris MacDonald’s dedication as a trustee.
“The individuals and organizations being honored have made significant contributions to our organization, in time, talent, and treasure, and have impacted the lives of thousands of people in our community, improving their health, financial stability, and well-being,” said Executive Director Carolyn Lake.
Through the pantries, they operate and their mobile network partners, the IFPN accommodated more than 31,000 household visits. The event will also celebrate IFPN’s plans to welcome its clients back into its newly expanded and renovated Client Choice Marketplace this summer for the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our new marketplace will feature an expanded and updated waiting area for providing client resources and a client-choice pantry that empowers our guests to choose healthy foods that they know their families will use and enjoy,” Lake said.
The evening will highlight IFPN’s current goals and achievements over the last year, including expanding its cold storage units by 550 percent and distributing 1.7 million pounds of nutritious food, including 673,000 pounds of fresh produce.
Proceeds from Sustaining Hope will fund IFPN Healthy Choices Marketplaces and Mobile Network programs providing healthy food to the ever-growing number of families facing food insecurity and hunger throughout Morris County. The IFPN is currently experiencing a 49 percent increase in client visits in January 2023 as compared to January 2022, and IFPN staff expect this trend to continue as clients face high inflationary costs while concurrently likely, many SNAP recipients are facing a decrease in their benefits as federal emergency allotments reach an end this month.
Pantry clients include low-income working families, seniors living on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and those suffering from illness or job loss.