EDISON – The Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) opened its reimagined food pantry, the ACI CommUnity Market.
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place April 7 at 629 Amboy Ave. (S&P Building), Suite 110, in Edison.
Since 2016, ACI’s food pantry has assisted hundreds of low-income individuals with disabilities and their families. Demand for the food pantry increased tremendously throughout the COVID-19 crisis, according to information provided by ACI.
“During the pandemic, we shut down the office and staff worked at home, but we kept our food pantry doors open,” Carole Tonks, executive director of ACI, said in the statement. “There was a need in the community and it was important for us to meet that need.”
The CommUnity Market concept will feature consumer choice and customer service while expanding assistance to disabled individuals and their families facing food insecurity, according to the statement. Staff will also help individuals apply for SNAP and make referrals to social service organizations and other food pantries in the area.
The CommUnity Market will also offer training to individuals with disabilities interested in working in the retail business.
The ACI CommUnity Market is 501(c)(3) not-for-profit serving Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties and is supported by PSE&G, Unity Bank, REPLENISH of Middlesex County, Guarantee Rate, and individual donors, according to the statement.