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Passaic County Catholic Charity emergency programs.

Operating a number of services for the disadvantaged, Passaic County Catholic Charities runs a rather large food pantry for the community. They also may receive occasional funding from the government or private donations, and the money received is used to provide short term financial aid for emergency living expenses. Other services range from referrals to charities in the Paterson area to general case management.

The non-profit has been providing food to a number of families over the years. The Passaic County Catholic Charities pantry is mostly massed by volunteers, and the groceries passed out are available from donations. There may be canned goods, rice, fruits, frozen foods, and more. Almost all items available at the pantry are only available as the result of donations.

Seasonal programs are also run. The food pantry is used for this, and the team will partner with other soup kitchens, churches, and other groups that want to help the less fortunate in Passaic County. There may be food baskets at Easter or Turkeys at Thanksgiving. Another focus is on offering free Christmas meals as well as small presents for children from families in poverty. The items are only for people from the Catholic Charity service territory.

Short term financial aid may occasionally be available. Passaic County Catholic Charities may be able to make some payments to utility companies, landlords, medical providers for medications, or for work reasons. The intent of any funds is to help families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis, or address a health concern. So it is therefore a form of homeless prevention.

Demand from Catholic Charities of Passaic County for assistance with household expenses continues to increase. So while the agency will try to help, many people are referred to alternatives sources of funding across New Jersey. Also, in some cases, applicants receive a loan as a form of rent or utility bill assistance, if funding is available. Any short term payments are made directly to the vendor.

A community thrift store is available. Not only will it sell gently used goods, such as clothing or furniture, but some people may also receive vouchers so the items given to them are free. Those with vouchers are usually recovering from some form of disaster situation.




Anyone who has gently used goods that they are no longer using can bring them to the thrift store. Contributions are fully tax deductible. There is always a need for shoes, jewelry, clothing, books, housewares, furniture, and much more. Anyone can shop there for low cost items.

There are other benefits that result from the thrift store. It provides underemployed people, or those re-entering the workforce, to learn skills, including in the retail environment. The money raised from the sale of goods is also kept in the local economy, and the funds go to help pay for the various programs run.

Volunteers may offer a ride, or vouchers can be issued as a form of transportation assistance. As an example, if someone maybe has just started a new job, but needs a way to get to work until the first paycheck, then support may be offered. It can include a bus pass, ride from a volunteer, or maybe a voucher for gasoline.

Catholic Charity of Passaic County senior services range from lunches to recreational activities. Much is this is offered in partnership with agency on aging centers or other groups. Examples of what may be available throughout the greater Paterson community are as follows.

  • Recreational activities are held at centers in Passaic County, and they include things such as bingo, exercise, and day trips.
  • Informational workshops, ranging from health screenings to information on benefits such as Medicare.
  • Older adults can be matched with caregivers for support.
  • Local rides for physician appointments, trips to the pharmacy, and similar trips as part of the Senior Companion Program.
  • Minor home repairs or maintenance.

Other resources may be coordinated as well, many by referrals. Learn about free legal services, applications to federal government benefits, and the like. Anyone seeking seeking assistance from Catholic Charities must provide proof of residence, income, identity, and a copy of the delinquent bill.  For more details, the office is in the city of Paterson New Jersey, or dial (973) 279 - 7100.



By Jon McNamara











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