What We Do/Who We Serve

The term”working poor”, working families that just do not seem to get ahead in the unstable economy and those that are unable to receive traditional assistance are the most under served population in America, often falling through the cracks of a system that helps the destitute, welfare, very at risk but offers no assistance to those who, though employed, are struggling daily to make ends meet. Living pay check to pay check, many working families, individuals and seniors are struggling due to a variety of circumstances and situations.

BCS food co-operative pantry offers its clients a unique model of non-profit services. The BCS goal is to help working families struggling through the economy, in financial crisis and in food-insecure households; families who may not qualify for traditional support services but need help getting back on their feet.  Families who use BCS pay a monthly nominal membership fee of $85 dues, much like the model of Costco and receive weekly a full cart of a wide range of healthy, fresh foods, non-perishable foods, toiletries and numerous other items every week. Families receive about $200-$300 worth of provisions each week, shop and fill one of our shopping carts, feeding their families high quality foods. In return, we invite and require that clientele families get involved and volunteer on a rotation basis as we serve one another. They also attend interesting and informative workshops facilitated by professionals that are designed to move them forward, also giving them the tools they need to get their finances back in order.  BCS food co-operative pantry operates not just as a charity handing out supplies. It also operates a social change model that preserves the dignity of its members by actually involving them to serve one another when they volunteer.

We provide healthy, nutritious and nourishing groceries, farm fresh produce, toiletries, household goods, adult educational classes and resources that are designed to help these families move forward.  Many working families are in financial crisis in food insecure households and simply cannot afford the wholesome, nutritious fresh foods to feed their family. By offsetting/eliminating their weekly grocery bills as their main grocer, this allows families to save crucial monies to pay their monthly bills and expenses, pay down debt, medical bills, make essential repairs and offset the consequences of their circumstances. Bentley Community Services, being unable to serve all of the families referred to it, reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to determine, on a case by case basis, families that qualify for the program. We have an application process to fulfill.

We are financially responsible, practice food sustainability and believe in the accountability model of food assistance, involving families in the process of checking, sorting and preparing foods for our distribution efforts after our truck returns from our pickups, bringing back high quality, diverse foods and goods from our generous providers.  Our desire is to provide a hand up, not a hand out and serve families that have the will to change their situation.  BCS’ unique model of service delivery is founded on a belief that true charity comes from empowering each individual to restore his or her capacity to be self-sufficient, and that the most effective way to accomplish this process is within the context of a community in which participants work together to attain their goals.

BCS picks up donations from generous grocers, individuals, farms, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, dairies, bakeries and restaurants on a schedule. We divert truly high quality foods that would otherwise end up in the landfill and re-direct these goods into the households that certainly could use them.  We serve as a re-distributor of donated product, redistributing donated surplus food and basic needs through a program in which each clientele family provides a few hours on a rotation basis offering helping hands in volunteer service in support of BCS operations helping keep costs down.  The innovative BCS program uses a “self-help” model in which the beneficiaries are also partners in running the organization. By providing this avenue of exchange, community, connection and accountability, we foster responsibility, caring and community.

Practicing food sustainability, we keep good foods out of the landfill, addressing food waste and hunger as we currently handle 16-18 tons of foods monthly.  When we have surplus of certain product, we donate to other agencies by inviting them to pick up at our location, providing nourishment and sustenance to their vulnerable populations, as we help feed many additional families from numerous communities.





8 thoughts on “What We Do/Who We Serve

  1. We are so thankful for your kindness and generosity with all the provisions provided to us. It has been a difficult year financially and my husband and I would not have been able to put healthy meals on the table. Use of your service has made our lives a little less stressful and has saved us some money to put toward our bills. We are sending heartfelt thanks for all your hard work and help. Keep up the good work!
    Barbara, Jim & family

  2. Bentley Community Services has helped my family greatly. We are the working poor and struggle daily with being able to pay bills and provide for my family
    With the help of Dorothy and Brant at Bentley Community Services we have provisions for our family. They are so positive and dedicated to helping people. We wouldn’t be where we are without their help.

  3. We cannot thank Bentley Community Services enough. Dorothy and Brant have given our family something that was missing for a few years…hope. We are like so many other families in NJ that have been struggling in this economy. Until we were able to join Bentley Community Services, we had no hope of recovering from our struggles. Now we have a chance to improve our situation. Thank you.

  4. Thank you both so much for what you do. My family has been blessed by Bentley for the past few years with the unstable economy and very expensive area we live in so my children can go to the best school for special needs. You are both a Godsend and doing amazing work. Praying is vital to my life so I love that we always pray together weekly before we shop. We are just coming back after almost a year and so much has changed. We are blessed to come back and be part of the Bentley Community once again.

  5. Financial crises happen to good people. And even in those times, we can see God’s hand and provision to us. We thank God for leading us to your program. A young working family with a young son — bewildered, scared and trying to maintain dignity amongst an unforseen trial. The Bentley program is our God-sent. We thank you Dorothy and Brant for not only your program, but for your genuine care of and us families every week. You run this program like a well-oiled Ministry, and you will be blessed for that. Bentley is too good to be true, when you look at the scope of it. The Fresh Food, the non-perishables, the nonimal fee, the cart full of provisions weekly, the Suppliers we have, the organic options, the meat choice, dairies, and breads, and importantly the dignity of shopping. As a young, working professional, its so important that I maintain dignity amongst this trial but willingly accept the help that me and my family need behind the scenes. Even the location is discreet for us to go in, shop and load with privacy. We will never forgot how Bentley has blessed us, and for that will always be dear to us as we reflect on this temporary situation in our lives and God’s lovingkindness to us amidst it all.

  6. We are blessed to have a program like this in our area. If it wasn’t for Dorothy and Brant, this program would not exist. I have many friends that live out of state that wish they had a program like this in their area. We had a financial hardship when I became very sick and had to quit my job. I had to fight for SSDI for 3+ years and watch as we struggled to pay our bills and provide food for our children. Bentley has given our family hope. It was a blessing for us to find Bentley. Bentley has not only filled our pantry and refrigerator but has filled our hearts with hope and love. We are very grateful for the provisions each week that we receive. We don’t get a box like most food pantry’s and churches hand out once a month, we get an entire grocery cart full of food every week. Not to mention Dorothy and Brant are the most generous and loving people you will ever meet. Thank you for all you do!!!

  7. Being a single Mom and trying to always help the family, I soon realized that I was also the one needing assistance. Bentley has been a tremendous help to me. I have been able to reduce my grocery bill, pay off some bills and still eat healthy. The wonderful variety of fresh and organic foods that come in on a weekly basis is unbelievable. The providers for Bentley Community Services are above and beyond anything that is out there to help the people who are struggling in today’s world. The variety, the quality and the quantity of foods each week is truly amazing. Thank you Dorothy and Brant for the outstanding job you do each and every day!

  8. Dorothy and Brant at Bentley Community Services,

    My family and I are eternally grateful for all the blessings your organization has bestowed upon us. My family is truly blessed to have fresh fruits and vegetables. We have meat, cheese, frozen and dairy products and deliciously prepared meals from the food harvest program that Bentley has with Princeton University from several dining halls. We also get freshly cut flowers and beautiful plants. I am a single mom who has struggled to make ends meet. Bentley Community Services has helped me to save a tremendous amount of money on groceries each week. I have been able to use the money that I have saved to pay down other bills. My family has a good quality of life and is able to eat healthy meals. We have an abundance of food to eat and do not at all feel deprived.

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