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Bart's Pantry In Oakland Feeds The Hungry

Volunteers Jackie Catti, Tom Mulcahy and Al Catti at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church pantry. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma
Bart's Pantry volunteers, from left, Al Catti, Jackie Catti, Tom Mulcahy and Joel Patron. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma

OAKLAND, N.J. – When a group of volunteers from Oakland see an empty food shelf, their need to help kicks in.

Throughout the year, members of Bart's Pantry help those in need in Newark and East Orange through a series of food donations. The pantry has been part of Our Lady of the Perpetual Help Church in Oakland for more than 30 years.

Tom Mulcahy has coordinated the program for the past five years through his own particular style.

"When I took it over, one of the things that kind of bothered me is that we had to alternate [between Newark and East Orange]," Mulcahy told Daily Voice. "It's got to be tough for them to figure out getting their food every other month."I really wanted them to get it every month."

To accomplish this, he set up an extra donation box in the back of the church, which collects $150 to $300 a month.

In the end, Mulcahy said, It still comes down to a community effort.Sister Linda Klaiss of St. Mary's Church in Newark said the Oakland supporters have been wonderful.

"We really depend on their support immensely," Klaiss said. "It's very important to us."

Bart's Pantry is named after its former coordinator, the late Bart Codd, who Klaiss said worked tirelessly to help those in need.

"Our heart is in it, it's in the right place," volunteer Jackie Catti said. "I just hope that we do make a difference."


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