Livingston Philanthropies Announces New Partnership with Wayne-Based Baking Co.

Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. has announced a new partnership with Bimbo Bakeries, headquartered in Wayne. “Generous Livingston residents have kept the donations flowing, so I have kept the food purchases flowing,” said Jeff Friedman, founder and director of the Livingston-based charity. “Now, I’m pleased to announce a partnership with Bimbo Bakeries in Wayne. This is huge development for LPI, our Newark distribution partners, and most importantly, disenfranchised populations.”
The organization, which used to collect coats, clothing, toiletries, and other items for the homeless, had to re-invent itself in March. “And now, just months later, we have a major food products partnership,” recounted Friedman. “It happened quickly. While LPI provided almost everything except food since 2011, we switched over quickly when it became impossible to deliver regular items with our new truck. Through the immeasurable support and donation of editorial space by the West Essex Tribune each week, LPI began asking for financial contributions to facilitate our new and already growing ‘Shipping to the Homeless’ initiative.
“A Livingston friend, Jason Declet, has read the Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI) articles in the West Essex Tribune for years. He and his wonderful wife, Liz, and two daughters have generously donated family clothing for years. Now, Jason has taken his philanthropy to the next step.”
Declet works for Bimbo Bakeries, which is a large distributor of name-brand baked items, Friedman noted. “In June, Jason sent the all-important email that started LPI’s partnership process with Bimbo Bakeries. He wrote to me, ‘Do you purchase bread? I may be able to help with bread donations. Please let me know.’ He put me in touch with Walter Syracuse, who coordinates sales and deliveries at Bimbo. It took one phone call to explain that we ship food to the homeless and profoundly poor. I also sent along our website link and YouTube video for his review. Done deal!
“When offered the opportunity of Bimbo’s huge availability and willingness to help, Newark Emergency Services for Families’ (NESF) executive director, Amina Bey, said, ‘We would love it! Bread, cakes, muffins, all of it! Especially for our seniors and families. Our provider agencies come to us to pick up groceries for their clients. This would be such a blessing. We’ve also been providing food to the youth and their families in the summer youth employment program. That’s an additional 2,000 people, so we can definitely use everything.’ ”
NESF’s first pick-up from Bimbo took place last week, and included 1,000 items. The shipment included Arnold bread, in wheat, whole grain, white and pita; Thomas’s English muffins in corn, wheat, raisin; cinnamon raisin bread; burger and hot dog buns; and Entenmann’s mini muffins, mini cakes, and oatmeal bars. NESF distributed the baked goods to several local families who have become unemployed due to COVID-19. It also worked with its provider agency partners to deliver baked goods to senior citizens and women and children in temporary housing facilities throughout Newark.
“Details are currently being worked out by LPI and NESF for a weekly Wednesday pick-up,” said Friedman. “Additionally, I’m in contact with multiple LPI distribution partners to arrange similar, regular donations from Bimbo.”
This development will have a “huge effect” on LPI and its donors, Friedman said. “We had been allocating $406 per week for fresh bread deliveries to our various constituencies. Now, the bread and baked products are donated in bulk, so generous Livingston funding will purchase other profoundly needed items, like bottled waters, canned goods, food pantry gloves, masks, baggies, lotion, diapers, women’s products, and more.
“My heartfelt thanks to Bimbo Bakery management and staff for making this happen. I will continue to update Tribune readers on our progress with this wonderful new partner. Bimbo ‘gets it.’ ”
Those who would like to donate may mail checks to LPI at P.O. Box 247, Livingston, NJ 07039 or donate directly on PayPal at paypal.me/lpinj.
“Those living below the poverty line are having a harder time than ever during the pandemic,” said Friedman. “As one anonymous philanthropist said, ‘It’s gratifying to share with our neediest.’ To learn more, folks can visit our website at njhomeless.org and see our short video on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXbzTqGNDqc.”
In conclusion, Friedman said, “I’d like to once again thank our generous Livingston neighbors who have supported LPI. Although Livingston is a large town, it’s got a small-town heart. I think Nashville songwriters Luke Laird, Ashley Gorley and Hillary Lindsey said it best in a song they wrote for Carrie Underwood. When they wrote, ‘Thank God for the home towns, and all the love that makes them go around,’ they could have been writing about Livingston.”

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