Franciscan Community Development Center Partners with Local Government and Nonprofits to repair building and restore service to over 3,000 individuals
(Fairview, N.J.) – Today Bergen County officials joined the Franciscan Community Development Center (FCDC) for the kickoff of an important construction project to revitalize the food pantry that serves approximately 3000 clients in the Fairview area. The FCDC has been in operation since 2006 and continues to be one of the most crucial food distributors in the area, especially after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project will include repairing the crumbling foundation, updating the plumbing, and leveling the sinking floors. Addressing these underlying structural needs will ultimately enable the pantry to remove walls and update their space to improve the efficiency of their operations and meet the surging need in the community. Funding for the construction has come together through the Bergen County Food Security Task Force’s Sustainability Fund, the Archdiocese of Newark, Bergen County’s Division of Community Development, and the volunteer efforts of Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together North Jersey, and RSC Architects.
“We are so thrilled to see this collaboration between the Archdiocese, our nonprofit partners and local government who have come together to bring this building back to life” said Commissioner Chairwoman Tracy Zur, who is also the driving force behind the Bergen County Food Security Task Force. “The FCDC is a vital partner of the Food Security Task Force, and we look forward to their new layout, enabling them offer more fresh foods and serve their clients with dignity.”
Earlier this year, Fairview was designated as a food desert by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, meaning many residents do not have adequate access to affordable fresh food.
“With food insecurity still affecting so many of our residents in Bergen County, targeted investments like ones made in Fairview are more important than ever,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “This project came to fruition thanks to critical funds provided by the county and our community partners, and will help Fairview and all of East Bergen County continue to meet the needs of families by providing them with nutritious food as the cold winter months approach. In Bergen County, we remain steadfast in our commitment to support our emergency food providers through the Task Force as we work towards ending hunger in Bergen County once and for all.”
“Our pantry was created by the community, and for the community,” said FCDC Executive Director Susan Colacurcio “The Franciscan Community Development Center at its core is a team of volunteers who serve from the heart. Everyone coming together to refurbish our space reemphasizes just how important collaboration and community can be.”
"We are so proud and humbled to partner with so many wonderful people and organizations to help families in need," said Teri Capparelli, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County. "We look forward to engaging volunteers from across the community to complete this project; many hands make light work!"
Bergen County Commissioner Tracy Zur, Habitat Bergen Executive Director Teri Capparelli, FCDC Executive Director Susan Colacurcio