Star Fish, Inc. is a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in Plainfield, NJ
Your donations are tax deductible as permitted by the IRS Code.

Love your neighbor as yourself...

Serving our neighbors in Plainfield since 1971 

Our Mission : To provide emergency food assistance to families of Plainfield who find themselves in need. 

We were founded through the efforts of the Association of Religious Organizations, an ecumenical clergy group. Our name is a combination of the Judaic Star of David and the Christian fish symbol. Founders were Mary Nischwitz, Mrs. Peter Webb, and Eileen Cunniff.

Who we are...

We are a group of volunteers from Plainfield and the surrounding area who belong to a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We operate three days each week throughout the year, preparing and distributing grocery food orders to an average of thirty to thirty-five families in need each week. Go to our History page for more information.

What we do...

Our primary function is to maintain the food pantry. Our volunteers pack and deliver grocery food orders to clients who have been referred to us by local social service agencies. Most of these agencies are listed on our Partners page.

Using a referral system helps us better manage our resources. These agencies vet the client to help assure that our limited resources are given to those truly in need.

We also prepare special food orders for 160 families at Easter, Thanksgiving, and at Christmas. The generosity of our donors helps us make these meals special with food that is appropriate for each holiday. Click here to see the lists of food used for families of 1 to 3, 4 to 6, and 7 or more people.

You can help...

We have opportunities for you to help us help others. Your food donations, financial support, or your talents are welcomed. Visit our Shopping List, Holiday Meals, or our You can help pages to learn more.


 We have partnered with the Community Food Bank in Hillside to help us meet the needs of our clients and, at the same time, stretch our limited funds. Because the Food Bank receives food in bulk from grocery chains and others, they can provide that food at a significantly lower cost than we could otherwise enjoy.

While we always used healthier ground meat and lower-fat hot dogs, we are now able to offer more variety meats, depending on what is available at the Community Food Bank. For example, the Food Bank had frozen chicken parts available when we picked up our recent order. What a treat to be able to give this food out to our families in need!

See our News and Updates page for more about this new partnership.

 Christmas Dinners

     What a great day! On December 20, 2013, approximately 25 people helped pack dinner bags for 160 families. We also gave out donated toys and other gifts for the children of these families.
     Dinners of ham, yams, corn, green beans, mac and cheese, pineapple, tea and cake were packaged and ready to go by 11:00 a.m.
     "Thank you" to all of the volunteers, both those who've been there for years and the new people who came out for the first time. We appreciate all of you for your help and generosity.

who helps? 

Our youngest helper, Jonah, adds a can of corn to a family's Christmas dinner order before bagging it for delivery.

Volunteers pack 160 dinners for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter every year.

Learn more here.

Genevieve Nitzsche, Marissa Berrios, and Michael Townley pose behind the nineteen dinner bags put together by AOLP students. 

THANK YOU Academy of our lady of peace

Students at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace in New Providence donated nineteen Thanksgiving dinners and enough money for twelve turkeys to our Food Pantry this year.

Genevieve Nitzsche, a student of the school and a granddaughter of the late Eileen Cunniff, one of the founders of the Food Pantry, spearheaded the event. Genevieve enlisted the help of the Student Council to sponsor a food drive. Each grade, from pre-K to eighth, was given the list of food items that we give out on Thanksgiving and was asked to put together at least one dinner.

In addition to the food drive, the Student Council also sponsored a dress down day that raised the  money for the twelve turkeys. After the food drive concluded, the children had brought in enough of the needed items to make up nineteen dinners, which were delivered to Star Fish on November 25 by Genevieve Nitzsche and Marissa Berrios.

“This donation was especially meaningful, coming through the efforts of Eileen’s granddaughter,” said Michael Townley, longtime Star Fish volunteer. “A number of us still involved in Star Fish started out because Eileen asked us to help. Her memory lives on in the good works being done for others.”


Members of Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence pose after unloading this truck that was packed with food for our Pantry.

This faith community has helped us for over 25 years, bringing canned goods, pasta, sauce, peanut  butter, jelly, tuna fish, mac and cheese, and much more to the Pantry on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Not only do they collect the food, but they also box it separately, making it easier to store and easier to handle.

The group arrives with their own roller ramp that they set up from the truck down into the basement. Workers on the truck carry the boxes to the slide where others guide them to tables. Other members, young and old, carry the pasta to one location, the canned goods to another, and the cereal to a third.

Many hands make light work, and within an hour, the entire task is completed.

We are so blessed to have these friends support our efforts.


     We are also grateful for the generosity of women and men of Local 423 Utility Workers Union of America.  Steve Mangione, representing the Union, contacted us to announce that the Local had selected Star Fish to receive a $500 donation for the Christmas 2013 holiday project.
     The Local represents the women and men who work for American Water Company in our area. They made their decision, in part, on the good works found on our website! 

Thank you Rotary Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains and the Rotary Club of Westfield!!

     Pictured at left are some of the groceries delivered by our new Rotarian friends.
     The Rotary Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains responded to our request for help and delivered an SUV-filled load of groceries, including fresh bread, eggs, ground meat, hot dogs, butter, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta...all the things that are on our Shopping List.
     The Rotary Club of Westfield also selected items from our Holiday Dinner list and brought them to us. The Rotarian who delivered the food stayed to help with the bagging, too!
     You can help, too. Contact us if you need someone to pick up the food from you home or office.

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