Food pantry renamed for nun who started it


foodpantry-webPhoto by Alan M. Dumoff, more photos









Family members of Sister Mary Anne McDonagh were in attendance April 24 when Holy Redeemer HealthCare renamed the Jersey Shore Food Pantry in honor of Sister Mary Anne, who was a driving force in starting it. Above, people look at a plaque with Sister Mary Anne’s name that will be outside the Swainton building.

On April 24, Holy Redeemer renamed its Jersey Shore Food Pantry in honor of its founder, Sister Mary Anne McDonagh, in a dedication ceremony in Swainton.

A driving force in establishing the pantry in South Jersey in 1989, Sister Mary Anne, who died in 2012 at the age of 73, worked across the world to help others through her tenure with the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer. A licensed practical nurse, she frequently visited and ministered to homebound sick patients in the Greater Philadelphia region, in addition to serving as a mentor and formation director to the younger sisters.

“The greatest gift I give to the community now is the gift of my presence, trying to be available to listen to those who need a listening ear,” Sister Mary Anne once said.

Sister Mary Anne and the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer began the food pantry in 1989 as an extension of Holy Redeemer’s home care services, Holy Redeemer HomeCare and Hospice, the largest nonprofit provider of home health and hospice services in the state of New Jersey.

Msgr. Peter Joyce, pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Marmora, presided at the dedication and blessing ceremony.

Community members attending the dedication ceremony were encouraged to bring canned goods, to aid the more than 18,900 sick, elderly and impoverished individuals in the counties surrounding Swainton. Last year, the non-profit food distribution center helped more than 8,000 people.

Anyone wishing to donate food to the Jersey Shore Food Pantry, located at 1801 Route 9 South in Swainton, can drop off items Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m.- noon. For more information, call 609-463-6062.

Holy Redeemer HomeCare offers a continuum of services throughout 11 New Jersey countiesr.

Holy Redeemer Holy Redeemer HomeCare and Hospice is part of Holy Redeemer Health System, which offers a wide range of healthcare and health-related services, including an acute care hospital, home health and hospice services, two skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, a retirement community, low-income housing, an active living community, and a transitional housing program for homeless women and children. For more information, visit