Hoboken Community Center buys future food pantry site, seeking to raise $2M


The Hoboken Community Center has purchased their future food pantry site at 122 Adams St. and is seeking to raise $2 million to complete the design and construction.

The Hoboken Community Center. Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The pantry, currently located at 1301 Washington St., serves more than 2,400 households with supplemental food, hygiene and pet supplies.

In the weeks ahead, the HCC will demolish the existing structure, clean, and fence off the site, while plans proceed to design and build a new pantry. Donations to the effort can be made here.

“What grew into an urgently needed lifeline for so many during the pandemic will soon have a permanent home in a space designed to better serve our community,” HCC Board Secretary Toni Tomarrazzo said in a statement.

“Everyone is entitled to basic necessities like those our Pantry provides, and we look forward to enhancing our offerings in a new space. Thank you to our donors, volunteers, and elected leaders who helped to make this happen.”

The relocation of the pantry from its temporary location at 1301 Washington St. is also necessary to allow the HCC to undergo a full renovation to revitalize the former YMCA into a community space for all ages for recreational, cultural, and educational programming.

An email inquiry seeking details of the building sale was not returned.

Additionally, he new pantry will feature a customer choice program allowing clients to select the food and products they need for their home. There will be scheduled appointment times for services during regular business hours.

The Hoboken Community Center Pantry was originally opened in the organization’s current space as a small operation in 2019 to address food insecurity among the men in the HCC’s Affordable Housing program.

During the pandemic, it quickly grew to meet the needs of the community with biweekly distributions of fresh and non-perishable groceries and non-food items such as diapers, toiletries, and menstrual products to anyone in need.

The pantry serves over 2,400 registered households, including over 1,500 with children and nearly 900 seniors, and distributes more than 850 bags of food each month. They are also a member agency of the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

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  1. John: I’d like to see a little more indepth reporting on this.
    I recall canvassing at this building, and it appeared to be occupied (renters.) Was this the case & if so, what happened to the tenants?
    What was the purchase price of the building?
    Has the revitalization and renovation project at the former Y been abandoned in exchange for this real estate purchase?
    Naturally, I am most concerned about the residents of the building and if there was any displacement.

  2. I am glad they are meeting a need in the community but like others I would like to see a followup indepth and John you are generally among the 1 or 2 still doing investigative. I had another neighbor bring up to me yesterday that the city has given up on Summer Recration in Hoboken. Jessica was hired a year ago, look at the story in NJ.com she said she would start working on so many programs, look specifically at what she said after hiring. The story noted her political connections but “also she’s really qualified and will bring all these programs.” I saw on another thread someone said Recreation Zero is Bhalla’s summer program and I found it a little funny and a little sad because he has given up. I am hoping they will announce something new since last year and they have not. Can you even ask the question? Compare last year with this year and there is nothing for the kids. Everyone says they do nothign for teens in summer and that’s also true. The rumor about Emily moving her kids to the shore to learn how to swim is not a rumor from what I have been told. The rich who we pay can AFFORD that, what about rec for the rest of us who aren’t rich enough to leave? Please ask, a few questions and you have your piece. (And no blaming Leo, its not that complicated for a new person whose job it is to do some of this.) Rec Zero really?

      • Personally, I think what people have been concerned about is that they have not added anything new to an already paltry program, in spite of a big announcement last year that they were hiring someone to finally turn things around and make changes. If you ask as you phrased it above, the city will love it because they will make it sound like the couple of programs they have in summer are a lot. The question IMHO that everyone should be asking, and maybe have already asked without answers, “What will be offered this summer that is new from what was offered in the past?” A new hire should mean new programs. &Not only athletics, as recreation can be much more. As a parent so far the answer is nothing from what I can tell but it is still early. They made a great show last year of announcing a new hire to turn things around and I am sure you were among those who covered the announcement. Perhaps check what you wrote last year and then the question would be, what do they plan to add this year that is different? They spent money, would like to know the results.

        • It’s important you point out that recreation is more than just sports. But there are sports clinics, concerts, movie showing and street fairs that have filled up the summer calendar. An example of something new? The Southwest Fest that was held yesterday. That side of the city is often neglected and it was great to side how our community came together for games, food, music and fun.

          Urban recreation programs are challenging. You need space, volunteers, equitable offerings. Try volunteering as a coach or program lead. It’s often the people in those roles whose dedication and actions are unrecognized and under appreciated.

          • No, sorry. You are doing exactly the PR snow job one would expect. Cultural affairs has run all those programs for years. A BRAND NEW recreation director was hired to add new programming during the day for kids in summers besides sports. Thanks for the list of cultural affairs programs. Now please tell us what’s happening in summer for kids in terms of daytime programming that’s new. Go on. We’ll wait. Then tell us what the New Director has suggested and we’ll wait for this list too. Do you even know what other towns have for recreation programs in summer for kids?

        • Arguing here, (on a thread that has NOTHING TO DO WITH KIDS RECREATION) is a waste

          Go to a council meeting if you can sit through 5 hours of Manny, Pat and Tiff

  3. This purchase is ridiculous but nobody can quest St Antonette ( Toni) Tomarazzo- or you get shot down by everyone.

    Deny this use in a residential area. Put it on hudson Near Tiffany, On Garden near Ravi, On Park near Toni or on Grand Near Emily!

    This is a scam. A 25 story hotel to pay for a crumbling yoga studio and an lead paint era gym will cost millions, yet this ” Community Center ” crew cant afford what they have now!

    • One must always remember that Toni can never be questioned about anything.
      Ravi has succeeded by never answering any questions yet has added hundreds of thousand of dollars of new information staff to the City payroll.

  4. Oh so the weekly tractor trailers that Rival Sho-Rite trucks will take over Adams and 2nd streets!
    – They are also keeping the fact they are trying to add a teen homeless shelter in too!

  5. None of their board members live there What is this elitist board hiding?
    They ran the Y into the ground…. now this?
    Eliminating much needed Rent Controlled apartments by the Y seems like an Oxymoron….

  6. This is nuts! So they rely on an annual food tasting to pay for things, they cant afford to renovate Washington Street which is in the millions …. Yet they go and buy another building that has apts, plan to demolish it before having the funds to plan a use for the site?

    The Y/ Community Center Board ( Who lost the National Y status ) should NEVER be allowed to develop another thing.
    No wonder the ir board is always cozying up to developers….They’re developers themselves!

  7. Is this true that the building they’re buying has affordable housing in it? Or am I reading this wrong? If this is even a little bit true, then it looks like John that your work is cut out for you with 2 new articles. I would like to hear City Halls responses on 2 things. One is, what happens to people living at the Adams Street location? The second story is, why was a rec director hired in Hoboken a year ago to turn the Hoboken recreation program around if they’re not announcing any new daytime summer programs for children and teens? Look on the city website for 2022 summer programs for kids through recreation and look at the year coming up. Compare the two. It’s exactly the same. Why?

  8. So the Financially demolished Y now wants to Demolish a quiet residential neighborhood and Demolish affordable apts?
    When did Ms Tommarrazo become such a Savior in Hoboken? Last I heard she screwed up the CarePoint Hospital Sale to RWJ?

    A group that cares about the needy is demolishing NEEDED apartments…. WOW Just Wow!

    If this was on Hudson Street or near Ms Fisher or Jabbour or Doyle nobody would consider it, but they are all uptown elites….

    • Jabour does what Bhalla tells her to do. He pays her bills to to be on his City Council and collect a big salary and benefits and she always does what he says.