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.

Union Catholic High School Students Donate over 800 Pounds of Thanksgiving Food.

Read about it on News and Updates.

Wilson memorial

We sing the praises of our friends at Wilson Memorial Church in Watchung. The congregation supports our food pantry with their time, talents and treasure. Longtime supporters, they recently donated two brand new freezers to replace old, non-working space-takers. Now we can better store our frozen breads and meats and dispense them as needed.

Thank you, Wilson Memorial. You are our angels.


Shelves at the food pantry are getting bare, now that the end of summer is here. We could certainly use your donations of food or funds to help us build up our supplies and enhance our offerings.

If you need help yourself, contact one of our Partner Agencies and they will help get the ball rolling.

If you do not need help, consider donating food to others in need. See our How to donate page for more information on how to donate.

Rotary Club supports us

Thank you Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield!!

     Pictured at rightare some of the groceries delivered by our long-time Rotarian friends at the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield.

      Every first Wednesday of the month, club members are asked to bring in food donations for the food pantry. Some or all the things that are donated are on our Shopping List. The Rotary Club also helps us every holiday. Each member of the club buys enough food for the members to prepare one holiday dinner per member. All we add is the meat of the day (turkey or ham or chicken) and the dessert cakes (baked by our Girl Scouts and our block association friends). A club member also delivers fresh vegetables and fruit from the Giving Garden (story below) throughout the growing season

Giving Garden at Warren Farm Arboretum

Who doesn't like fresh vegetables from a local farm or garden? We are blessed by the support of our friends at the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield who have partnered with the Giving Garden at Wagner Farm Arboretum to supply us with fresh vegetables throughout the harvest season.

We have given our clients beets, green beans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, ochra, potatoes...all of this grown locally at the Giving Garden by volunteers, including our Rotary friends. That club plants two plots of vegetables each year and donates their harvest to our food pantry.

Giving Garden volunteers also travel to the Rutgers Research Snyder Farm in Pittstown to pick up donations of fresh corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and many other vegetables grown there. These weekly trips generate large boxes of fresh vegetables and fruit for our clients through October, even giving us pumpkins! We are truly blessed!


The students at Mt. St. Mary School in Watchung help us each year by having a friendly competition leading up to Super Bowl Sunday that they call "Super Cereal Bowl." Each homeroom is asked to bring in boxes of cereal to benefit our food pantry, with the special Super Cereal Bowl trophy (yes, a real trophy!) awarded to the class that brings in the most boxes. The following message was posted on the MSM Facebook page recently.

"Thanks to all those who supported this year's Super Cereal Bowl, sponsored by the HOPE Club and Peer Ministry. Amid winter break and several snow days, they collected 400 boxes to benefit the Star Fish Food Pantry. Congratulations to Homeroom 10B on donating 47 boxes, the most brought in by a single homeroom this year."


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 provide the 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! Every year, approximately 25 people help pack dinner bags for 160 families. We also give 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 are 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 come 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. 

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! 

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