A client signs in at the Project Loaves and Fishes food pantry at St. Anthony’s on a recent Tuesday night.
When Jeannette O’Bryant’s son and daughter-in-law lost their jobs recently, she ended up taking in some of their children and needing a hand herself to feed them.
“I didn’t know which way to turn,” says the Red Bank resident.
Eventually, she discovered the Project Loaves and Fishes food pantry run out of St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Chruch on Bridge Avenue. There, once a week, she now stocks up on groceries, but can also avail herself of everything from used clothing to a personal computer.
But just as valuable to her as the material help, O’Bryant says, is that the volunteers at the church treat their clients, all of whom must register for the program, with dignity. She tells of seeing a man once being asked to leave because he was disruptive, but not before the pantry workers were sure he had the food his family would need.
“We’re uptight, we’re frustrated, we’ve been tormented by the economy,” she tells redbankgreen while waiting in line on a recent Tuesday night. “They’re wonderful. They help you out with food and clothing, and they do it with personality and understanding.”