The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Bridgeport Bishops Storehouse
613 Heron Drive
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
Contact: Elder Joe Vanderwerken, Storehouse Manager
Website (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/pages/biz/church_of_jesus_christ_of_latterday
The Bishops Storehouse in Swedesboro, NJ is the local iteration of LDS “Storehouses” throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico, each providing food for the hungry. This effort is an integral part of LDS Welfare Services, a comprehensive program that also offers help and guidance moving individuals and families from dependence to independence via financial aid, food, clothing, plus financial and job search education. They offer referrals to other organizations for help with housing, medical assistance, etc. In addition, the Storehouse delivers food to sites housing the homeless during extremely cold weather. Excess food goes to Philabundance and other food related programs.
The Storehouse is a large warehouse for storing and sorting food. 80% of the food distributed is grown, processed, and packaged in LDS facilities around the country. The rest of the food comes mostly from local NJ farmers and distributors. While mostly staffed by volunteers, there also are employees who manage and work within the system. Costs are paid for by an LDS program which calls on all members to fast one day a month and contribute what would have been spent on food to LDS Welfare Services.
Mormon efforts to address the root causes of violence are guided by the teachings of the church. For example, foods offered through the Storehouses follow the nutritional guidelines provided by revelations received by early church leaders that are congruent with 21st century insights into a healthy diet. It is holy work to assist individuals and families to sustain themselves in times of need and provide resources to help them become confident, self-sufficient, contributing members of society. These efforts and the compassion shown by LDS volunteers and paid staff link recipients to the community and to values that make it less likely for those recipients to be perpetrators or victims of violence.