Donation Items that Family Promise Union County Needs Now

March 29, 2021

Family Promise Union County has been doing great work to meet the needs of families experiencing homelessness in Union County, NJ for decades. Staff and volunteers provide families with programs to empower them on their path to achieve independent housing and with services to help meet their most immediate needs. 

One of the many ways Family Promise helps families transition from homelessness to independent living is through a supply and food pantry.

All families are able to receive donated food and household items. After years of providing this service, Family Promise Union County knows what supplies families need most. 

Amy, our volunteer manager, holding a bag of donation itemsHere is a list of items that Union County needs to serve their families:

  1. Flour, Oil, Sugar, Coffee, Seasonings, and Condiments

The pantry almost never has condiments like mayo, mustard, ketchup, or seasonings like salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Those are common things that people need to cook simple meals that Family Promise rarely has available to give to families.

  1. Detergent pods

Many of the families rely on public transportation and detergent pods are easier to transport to the laundromat than bulky bottles.

  1. Tool kits and step ladders

Once families transition to independent living, they need essential tools to be able to assemble things and complete minor home repairs.

  1. Shampoo and hair products for curly and coarse hair

The families of Union County represent a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds. They need hair products meant for their hair textures.

  1. Cleaning supplies

Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits do not cover personal care or household cleaning products. Purchasing these quickly adds up to be a strain for families with limited incomes.

  1. Emergency car kits

Emergency car kits are important for families, many of whom are first-time drivers. In 2020, seven families received car donations from private donors.

  1. Shovels

Everyone needs a shovel when a big snowstorm hits, but sometimes, it is not on the top of a family’s budget because it is a “seasonal” expense.  Seasonal items can be difficult to budget for, but will eventually be needed.

  1. Face masks and hand sanitizer

These can add up and be expensive on their own despite being so essential right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Again, SNAP benefits do not cover these items.

These donations are important to Family Promise Union County because they dramatically reduce the strain on low-income or zero-income families’ budgets. Low-income families and families that experience homelessness often have difficulty covering the cost of housing and food, the most important and basic necessities. Items from this list lighten the financial burden and help meet families’ needs as they work toward achieving sustainable independence.

To donate any of the items on this list and support Union County families, contact Amy Jones, manager of volunteer engagement at

Dial 211 to find more resources near you.