Martin Luther King Day of Service: 16 North Jersey organizations that need your help's Rebecca King reports

Every third Monday of January, the country celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service.

This year, the day honoring the civil rights leader falls on Jan. 18, three days after King's birthday on Jan. 15.

Nearly 53 years after his death, the fight for racial justice is not over. The murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many other Black Americans have ignited protests and activism in the name of the equality fought for by Dr. King.

Looking to participate in an act of service this year in honor of King? Here are North Jersey non-profits and organizations you can donate-to or volunteer-at This MLK Day of Service.



New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

This organization advocates for people of color by focusing on economic justice and criminal justice reform through democratic channels. Its website guides you through steps you can take right now to further racial justice in New Jersey. Go to for more information.

YWCA Northern New Jersey

YWCA has more than 25 million members in 122 countries, making it the largest multicultural women's organization in the world. Its North Jersey office is located in Hackensack. YWCA provides safe places for women and girls to learn and grow, setting them up for career success. Equally as important is its dedication to eliminating racism. Go to for more information.

Black Lives Matter Morristown

Black Lives Matter Morristown has spearheaded several events and fundraisers to help its community and advocate for racial equality. Launched this year, the group hosted a toy drive for the homeless, a George Floyd funeral procession and vigil, a meet and greet with a Morris County prosecutor, and launch an "Adopt-A-Family" program. Go to for more information.

Social Services

Eva's Village

Eva's Village has been serving the Paterson community for 38 years. The non-profit offers support for homelessness, hunger, addiction, poverty and mental illness. It includes a soup kitchen, a culinary school that trains people to enter the workforce, an emergency overnight shelter for men, as well as a medical and dental clinic. Go to for more information.

Paterson Healing Collective

The Paterson Healing Collective was created in partnership with St. Joseph's hospital. It is the first hospital-based violence intervention program in Passaic County. Its services include connecting people engaged in violence to counselors, crisis intervention and meditation to help avoid incarceration. PHC also sponsors support groups for survivors of violence. Go to for more information.

Project Self-Sufficiency

Project Self-Sufficiency helps low-income families become economically self-sufficient. It serves Sussex, Morris, Warren and Hunterdon counties and includes a food pantry and other services. Go to for more information.

RAIN Foundation

The RAIN Foundation is the only shelter in New Jersey that caters specifically to LGBTQ youth. The East Orange shelter provides temporary housing, social services, mental and physical health support and resume building. Go to for more information.


Oasis is a Paterson-based nonprofit that provides educational and social service programs for women that help them succeed in the workforce. It also has a soup kitchen and provides emergency food, clothing and social support to residents of Paterson. Go to for more information.

Food Pantries

Community FoodBank of New Jersey

The largest food bank in New Jersey, this organization operates from a warehouse where donations are packaged and then sent to people in need. CFBNJ partners with food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to make sure they have access to nutritious food. It also provides SNAP applications to those eligible and has a 15-week culinary and life-skills training program to help people find employment. Go to for more information.

Our Community Dinner Table

Our Community Dinner Table is based in Palisades Park and is run entirely by volunteers. It provides meals to people in need, with no qualifiers or questions asked. Go to for more information.

Cresskill Cares

This organization helps folks in the Cresskill area by providing meals and other supplies and services to those in need. Go to for more information.

Jersey City Community Refrigerator

Go to the dead-end on Delaware Avenue off Duncan Avenue in Jersey City and you'll find a humming refrigerator stocked with food for anyone to take. People in need of food are welcome to anything in the fridge. Others in a position to give can stop by to add their own donations to the supply. Go to for more information.

Center for Food Action

CFA provides emergency services to vulnerable residents of North Jersey, including food, housing, utility and heating assistance, as well as counseling and advocacy services. It has sites in Hackensack, Mahwah, Ringwood and Saddle Brook and has its headquarters in Englewood. Go to for more information.

Interfaith Food Pantry

Founded more than 25 years ago, The Interfaith Food Pantry aims to end hunger and facilitate self-sufficiency for people in need in Morris County. It provides food, education and resources to families in need. Go to for more information.

Tri-Borough Food Bank

This Pascack Valley pantry provides food and essentials to people in need from Ramsey, Pearl River, Emerson and beyond. Go to for more information.

Nourish NJ

A fairly new organization, Nourish NJ provides food, housing and work rediness programs, as well as medical, social and educational services every day of the year, free of charge. Go to for more information.

Other places to serve

Social Service Association: 6 Station Plaza, Ridgewood; 201-444-2980,

Rebecca King is a food writer for For more on where to dine and drink, please subscribe today and sign up for our North Jersey Eats newsletter.

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