Pleasantville firefighters on Tuesday helped Oasis United Methodist Church unload a truck full of donations for its food pantry. The firefighters plan to be back each month to help the volunteers get ready for the 80 or so families the pantry helps the last Wednesday of each month.

VINCENT JACKSON / STAFF WRITER

PLEASANTVILLE — Volunteers with the Oasis United Methodist Church food pantry received a break Tuesday when city firefighters helped unload a truck full of food from the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

Last month, Anton Brown, a city fire inspector, happened to be doing an inspection on the day the food arrived from the Community FoodBank. He saw about 10 women taking the food from the truck and putting items into boxes and bags.

“I was here for an hour by myself,” Brown said.

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Brown told the women he would see if he could convince some of his fellow firefighters to help out this month.

RELATED: Mobile food pantry returns to Ventnor Plaza.

On Tuesday morning, about 16 on-duty and off-duty firefighters arrived at the church on Martin Luther King Avenue. They unloaded a truck full of food, took items out of boxes and reorganized them so a variety of food could be given to each family.

On the last Wednesday of every month, an average of 80 families stop by the church’s food pantry, said Norma Fisher, a church volunteer.

“We are so happy,” said Fisher, 57, of Egg Harbor Township. “I didn’t break a nail today. I was playing supervisor.”

Instead of it taking the women four hours to unload the truck and organize all the food, Fisher estimated it would take half that time.

Firefighters plan to help out every month moving forward. If the on-duty firefighters have to respond to a call, the off-duty employees can still assist the volunteers at the food pantry.

The Oasis United Methodist Church food pantry opens at 10 a.m. Wednesday and will be open until 2 p.m., or until they run out of food.

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Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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