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Where to Donate Everything in Essex County

by Kristina Helfer
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Making a difference through our local charities, especially during the holidays, is extremely important for building stronger communities. With so many charitable organizations here in Essex County, it can be somewhat overwhelming to know where to donate which types of items. We’ve rounded up a list of local places to donate all kinds of things this holiday season — from food, to clothes, to furniture, + more. We update this list periodically as programs grow and change, so if you know of a place that takes donations, let us know! Read on for a non-exhaustive list of where to donate in Essex County.


Human Needs Food Pantry | 9 Label Street

Human Needs Food Pantry

Donation Drop-Off: Tuesdays + Thursdays from 8:30AM – 12PM, and one Saturday per month 

The Ivy at Chatham

Since 1982, the Human Needs Food Pantry has provided food, clothing, and other services to people in need who live in Montclair and neighboring communities in Essex County. The diverse client base includes families and singles who are elderly, disabled, home-bound, unemployed, or underemployed. Call for more information: (973) 746-4669.

What to Donate

  • Items from the organization’s Amazon wish list 
  • Non-perishable/unexpired food donations
  • Pet food
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissues
  • Sanitizers
  • Diapers + wipes
  • Formula
  • Tall paper grocery bags with handles
  • Monetary donations to support efforts


  • Grocery distribution: provides registered clients with grocery bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, and non-perishables. We include personal-care items, such as soap and shampoo, as available
  • Dietician service: a dietician is at the pantry each month to provide one-on-one counseling about healthy eating, making better food choices, and cooking the foods we distribute in healthier, more delicious ways

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Pack fruits and vegetables
  • Pick up food from suppliers
  • Sort donated clothing, linens, and household goods
  • Client sign-in
  • Grocery distribution
  • Deliver food to homebound clients

Salvation Army | 13 Trinity Place, Montclair

Donation Drop-Off: Monday – Friday 9AM – 4PM

For 125 years, The Montclair Citadel Corps has been a beacon of hope and a model of ministry in the Name of Jesus in suburban Essex County. Whether it is housing a needy family at our Cornerstone House Shelter, feeding the homeless at our hot meal program, providing emergency assistance, building characters in future generations, or serving as a place of worship for those seeking spiritual nurture, Montclair Citadel provides something for everyone. Call for more information:  (973) 744-3312.

What to Donate

  • Clothing
  • Small furniture items
  • Non-perishable/unexpired food donations
  • Monetary donations to support efforts


  • Addiction Counseling
  • Hospital & Shut-in Visitation
  • Information & Referral Services
  • Prescription Assistance
  • Food Pantry
  • Noon-time Feeding Program
  • Cornerstone Homeless Shelter
  • Homeless Prevention Financial Assistance
  • Utility Assistance
  • Christmas Assistance
  • Christmas Toy Shoppe
  • Thanksgiving Dinners

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Drop-In Center Activities Assistant: Volunteers will be assisting with activities such as bingo, game day, and movie day. Duties include assisting with setting up and facilitating the activity as well as cleaning up after
  • Landscaping Volunteer: providing lawn maintenance. Duties include mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, weeding, edging, and gardening
  • Maintenance: maintenance volunteer is needed to help maintain the cleanliness and upkeep of the facility and ensure a safe and clean environment for all of those who come to The Salvation Army

Toni’s Kitchen | 73 S Fullerton Avenue, Montclair

tonis kitchen montclair

Donation Drop-Off: Monday through Friday: 9AM – 2PM, Saturday 9:30AM – 12PM, Sunday: 3PM – 5:30PM

Toni’s Kitchen is a food ministry of St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair, NJ. We envision a community where everyone has reliable access to healthy food. Toni’s Kitchen provides food to our neighbors in need in ways that respect their dignity, improve health, and foster independence. Call for more information: (973) 932-0768.

What to Donate

  • Toni’s Kitchen has a most-needed food items list updated regularly
  • Breakfast items (oatmeal, cereal bars, etc.)
  • Pasta + Pasta Sauce (no glass jars)
  • Rice
  • Tuna
  • Peanut Butter (no glass jars)
  • Soup
  • Nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Canned Beans
  • Monetary donations to support efforts


  • Toni’s Café: a mobile, food truck cafe offering on-the-go meals of hot soups, sandwiches, and coffee to local residents. In addition, the cafe will carry microwavable meals prepared at Toni’s Kitchen for residents to take home for future use
  • Food for Seniors: prepares and delivers high-quality, nutritious food to hundreds of senior citizens in our area. Complete meals, fresh produce, and light groceries are all available
  • Soup Kitchen: to-go meals available for pickup on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:30 AM – 12PM and on Sundays from 5PM – 5:30 PM
  • Food for Families: families are able to come Monday through Friday from 9AM – 2PM, on Saturday from 9AM to 12PM, and on Sunday from 3 PM – 5:30 PM for grocery bags filled with fresh produce and nutritious food that can really help stretch budgets
  • Toni’s Community Closet: a thrift store that provides access to quality clothing for a wide variety of food-insecure populations.

Volunteer opportunities

  • Food prep
  • Serving meals
  • Packing healthy food bags
  • Driving deliveries
  • Food pick-ups

Read More: Volunteer Opportunities in Essex County | Fall 2022


Bloomfield Animal Shelter | 61 Bukowski Place, Bloomfield

Donation Drop-Off: Monday – Friday 2PM-5PM, Wednesday 2PM-6PM, Saturday – Sunday 1PM-5PM

The Bloomfield Animal Shelter/John A Bukowski Shelter for Animals is a no-kill animal shelter managed by the Township of Bloomfield. The shelter has many types of dogs and cats available for adoption. Whether the animals come to us as surrenders or as strays, through daily social interactions and training, the shelter staff and volunteers get to know each dog and cat’s personality to make the best possible match for each adopter and animal.  For more information on what the shelter needs, please visit its Amazon wish list. Call for more information: (973) 748-0194.

What to Donate

For Cats

  • Purina Dry Adult + Kitten Cat Chow
  • Fancy Feast Adult + Kitten Wet Food
  • Shop Rite Unscented 25lb Litter
  • Nutri-Cal Supplements- Cats/Kittens
  • Lysine for Cats
  • Kitten Replacement Milk
  • Kitten Nursing Bottles
  • Unopened Cat Toys
  • Crates + Carriers- Sizes Small-Large

For Dogs

  • Pedigree Wet/Dry Adult
  • Purina Pro Plan Wet/Dry Adult GRAIN FREE
  • Pet Waste Bags
  • Nutri-Cal Supplements- Dogs/Puppies
  • Lysine for Dogs
  • Martingale Collars- Sizes Medium, Large, XL, XXL
  • Leashes + Harnesses- Sizes Medium, Large, XL, XXL
  • Treats (NO Rawhide), Kongs, Nylabones
  • Crates + Carriers- Sizes Medium, Large, XL, XXL


  • Paper Towels/ Toilet Paper
  • Liquid Laundry Detergent, Dawn Dish Soap, Unscented Bleach, Pine-Sol, Fabuloso Cleaner
  • Salmon or Coconut Oil
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • Comfort Zone Diffuser Kit- Feliway/Adaptil
  • Rubbermaid 25 gal+ Storage Bins
  • Nitrile Gloves
  • Garbage Bags- Heavy Duty & Contractor Size
  • Monetary donations to support their efforts


  • The shelter accepts stray and surrendered pets from Bloomfield and performs animal control services for Glen Ridge, Nutley, and Caldwell.

Cedar Grove

The Free Little Pantry of Cedar Grove | 65 Bowden Road, Cedar Grove

Free Little Pantry of Cedar Grove

Donation Drop-Off: 24-hour accessible box.

LFP is most often used for those who are not easily able to meet everyday food and personal needs. The organization might also stock after-school snacks for neighborhood kids or that ‘cup of sugar’ you never have when you need it. 

What to Donate

  • Non-perishable food items
  • Energy/protein bars
  • Baby products (formula, diapers, wipes, etc.)
  • Winter hats/gloves
  • First-aid supplies
  • Hygiene and grooming products (deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Hand sanitizer


  • The Free Little Pantry is accessible 24 hours a day and provides food and household items to those in need of some extra assistance.

See More: Where to Donate Winter Coats in the Montclair Area


Holy Spirit Food Pantry | 36 Gould Street, Verona

Holy Spirit Food Pantry

Donation Drop-Off: 24-hour bin in the parking lot of the church

Whether arranging to cook and deliver food to someone recovering from surgery, holding a prayer vigil for an ill member, or providing cake for a baby’s baptism, the Holy Spirit Food pantry is there to help. The most important goal includes the Holy Spirit Verona Food Pantry which is serving over 100 shoppers per month as of late 2019 and involves a minimum of 30 volunteers monthly. The Pantry keeps an updated list of its needs on its website. Call for more information: (973) 239-2850.

What to Donate

  • Unexpired, non-perishable food items
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo + conditioner
  • Jelly
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Rice (1lb or 2lb bags)
  • Dog and cat food (small bags or cans)
  • Canned meat (corned beef hash, chef-boy-ar-dee, chicken)
  • Coffee
  • Detergent (50oz size or smaller)
  • Tissues


  • The Food Pantry is open from 9AM-11AM on the 4th Saturday of every month. All in need are welcome to come to pick up groceries.

Volunteer opportunities

  • On pantry days:
    • Set up and clean-up
    • Greeting shoppers when they arrive
    • Assisting shoppers/staffing the pantry
  • Other:
    • Publicity and fundraising for the pantry
    • Organizing food donations

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