Purpose: The Little Things Community Pantry's mission is to coordinate the support and resources for the betterment of the greater community by supporting those most in need. The Little Things Community Pantry is a nonprofit organization based in New Jersey with a designation as 501(c)(3) organization with the federal government. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as "charitable organizations," per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Authentic Need: Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Sometimes, our communities are so busy that we can forget to support those most in need and right in front of us. However, some individuals are experiencing basic need hardships that are not readily visible to others. In New Jersey, as of January 2020, there were an estimated 8,097 persons across the state experiencing some level of homelessness with 835 individuals who were unsheltered (NJ Point-in-Time Count, 2020). Additionally, there are many families and individuals in need of basic essentials such as, food and hygiene supplies. In 2019 alone in the state of NJ, 8.6 percent of all households were experiencing food insecurity (DOH NJ, 2019).
How It Started: During the Fall of 2020, Melissa DeVito combined her passion for philanthropy, event planning, and couponing to organize a basic needs drive consisting of food, toiletries, coats, and other supplies during the Fall of 2020. After collaborating with various community partners, Mrs. DeVito put out a call to action among family, friends, neighbors, and the greater NJ community. This drive would lead Mrs. DeVito to organize multiple supply drives across the seasons each year to help the residents of NJ in the most need. The success of the various drives over the years would inspire Mrs. DeVito to form The Little Things Community Pantry (LTCP or "Little Things"). To date, the LTCP has acted as a liaison for coordinating the collection and distribution of goods for those in need across NJ for several years. LTCP’s work to help those in need across several years and many supply drives is possible due to the giving residents of NJ.
Call to Action: Throughout the year, The Little Things Community Pantry organizes supply drives for various necessities based on expressed community needs. The supply drives correspond with the leading up to (and during) the season of the year. Please see our Community Supply Drives page for more information on the recurring community drives, their typical occurrence, and how to support the drive, as well as some of our Special Partnership Projects. On our Service Projects and Events page, you can find initiatives related to spreading positive personal impact in the community through coordinated public service projects and events. Lastly, we have a supports resource bank and referral coordination program, both of which can be found on our Families in Need page.