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About Us

The recent movement toward ‘faith-based initiatives’ as an alternative to government programs for assisting the disadvantaged in our communities presents a challenge to all of us who seek to follow Christ’s ‘Great Commission.’ Here in Berlin, we have already begun to address that challenge. In late 1998, four Berlin churches - Holy Communion Lutheran, Berlin Baptist, Centenary United Methodist and the Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal) - joined to form and incorporate GIFT, God’s Interfaith Food Table. GIFT is an organized food pantry providing regular distribution to those in need. GIFT’s history includes being named by the NJ Food Bank as the state’s top distribution charity for 2000.

GIFT operates by purchasing food, primarily from the Food Bank of South Jersey. Funding support, as well as additional food donations, is provided by the member congregations. Additional funding has been received through public and private grants which include Shoprite, Berlin Lions Club, Berlin Rotary Club, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and Verizon. Each week, volunteers prepare grocery bags with canned and packaged goods, as well as frozen meats purchased from USDA. Clients are entitled to receive food parcels, based upon family size, twice each month. GIFT volunteers assist in the food distribution. As greater funding resources have become available, we have begun to broaden the variety of items distributed. Recently, we have included personal toiletry products (toothpaste, shampoo, soap) with the food parcels. Food parcels are distributed from the social hall of Holy Communion Lutheran Church, on Route 73 in Berlin. While public assistance referrals are preferred, GIFT was created to reach as many people in need as possible; thus, we do not turn anyone away.

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Distribution Schedule

GIFT operates on a regular food distribution schedule, currently four times per month:

1st & 2nd Wednesdays - 11 am to 12 noon
3rd & 4th Thursdays - 7 to 8 pm

Food is distributed from:
Holy Communion Lutheran Church
442 South Route 73
Berlin, New Jersey 08009

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Holiday Dinners

GIFT distributes turkeys with all the trimmings for a meal during the Thanksgiving holiday to over 240 families.

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Member Churches

GIFT is the combined work of these four Berlin, NJ churches:

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Holy Communion Lutheran
Church

442 South Route 73
Berlin, New Jersey 08009
Phone: 856-767-0650
hclchurch.org

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Berlin Baptist
Church

90 East Broad Ave.
Berlin, NJ 08009
Phone: 856-767-0138
berlinbaptist.com

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Centenary United Methodist
Church

149 South White Horse Pike
Berlin, NJ 08009
Phone: 856-767-3881
berlinunitedmethodistchurch.com

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Church of the Good Shepherd
(Episcopal)

108 West Broad Avenue
Berlin, New Jersey 08009
Phone: 856-767-0160
churchofthegoodshepherd.net

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Photo Gallery

This gallery highlights some of GIFTs recent food distribution work in the Berlin, NJ community.

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Food Distribution

Clients receive food parcels at Holy Communion Lutheran Church.

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GIFT Volunteers

Volunteers help to sort and package food parcels for distribution to GIFT clients.

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Much Appreciated!

Berlin Community School students are honored for an outstanding food collection.

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Christmas Distribution

GIFT clients queue for the busy Christmas season food distribution.

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Help Needed!

GIFT is always in need of volunteers and donations for our program.

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Goals

While the initial 18 years of GIFT’s existence have been successful in achieving our basic goal - we are now serving at least 10 times as many people as when we began - we are not satisfied that we are doing all that we could, or that we hope to. In order to advance our mission further, we need to look to the future. The following are goals for the coming years to broaden and improve our outreach:

  • Seek additional volunteers from our member congregations, to help staff our existing effort, but also to serve on GIFT’s board, providing increased direction and support
  • Increase GIFT’s visibility, through advertising and contacts with local service organizations, as well as other local congregations
  • Increase GIFT’s funding, by identifying and obtaining additional grants
  • As additional regular staffing becomes available, increase the number of monthly distribution days

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HOW TO FIND US

GIFT continues to operate out of the facility within the Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Berlin. This facility has worked extremely well as it allows greater access to our program for our older and handicapped clients. The facility is located on the first floor of the social hall within the Lutheran Church building.

Address

Holy Communion Lutheran Church
442 South Route 73
Berlin, New Jersey 08009

Call Us
856-767-0650
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