National Hunger Action Month & High Holiday Food Donation Guidelines

September signifies back to school, cooler weather, the return of Pumpkin Spice food & coffee, Jewish High holidays and National Hunger Action Month.  Hunger Action Month highlights food insecurity and how individuals, businesses and organizations can and do help those in their community and beyond.

Feeding America estimates approximately 1 in 6 people turned to charitable food assistance for additional support in 2022. In its last Feeding America Map the Meal Gap survey, 16.3% of households in New Haven; 6.7% of households in Woodbridge; and 5.2% of households in Orange were food insecure. 

Since the start of 2023, the JFS Food Pantry has served 1530 duplicated households and helped an additional 202 new households seeking emergency food assistance from the above town and others in Greater New Haven county.   

In recognition of Hunger Action Month the JFS Food Pantry & Food Assistance Program will be collecting non-perishable foods to help stock the JFS Pantry shelves.  Here are the most requested foods and our food donation guidelines (especially if you will be donating to your local synagogue High Holiday food collection/drive): 

Cereal  (all types for adult and children)

Soups and broths (cans and boxed)

Canned meals/meats such as Canned Chicken, Stew, Chili, Chef Boyardee or store brand canned pasta

Boxed Pasta (angel hair, fettuccini, elbows, shells, bowties, rigatoni, orzo, ditalini, penne, ziti, bagged egg noodles, rotini, tri-color rotini, linguine, spaghetti, whole grain)

Gluten Free  pasta such as chick pea or lentil pasta

Condiments such as BBQ sauce; salad dressing; mayo; mustard; ketchup

Canned vegetables such as corn or creamed corn; sliced carrots; French style green beans; potatoes (diced, sliced or whole); beets; sauerkraut

Canned Fruits or fruit cups (especially those in water or light syrup/no sugar added) such as applesauce, mandarin oranges, pineapple (all types), pears, peaches, fruit cups.

Tea bags/Instant, decaf or regular coffee Things to Keep in Mind:  Avoid oversized containers and packaging, as they are awkward and difficult to carry and transport home by our pantry guests and many of our visitors are one and two member households.  Check and verify that all items are not past their use by/best buy or expiration date.   Please avoid glass containers, as they can break in transport or during processing.  Please remember, due to health and safety concerns we cannot accept any open/partial containers or boxes, repackaged items; or homemade items – this includes items without a label.  If you have any questions, please contact Sandy Hagan at or 203-397-0796.