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June 20, 2013


Former Executive Director Stepped-Down on March 31st

(Newark, NJ) – Deanna S. London, the former Executive Director of the Human Needs Food Pantry, Inc., of Montclair, was honored by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders during its Wednesday, June 19, 2013, meeting held at Montclair Town Hall.  The Board’s commendation was sponsored and presented by District 5 Freeholder Brendan W. Gill of Montclair.

Deanna S. London, the former Executive Director of The Human Needs Food Pantry, was honored by Freeholder Brendan Gill of Montclair for her 25 years of service during the Freeholder Board’s meeting held on Wednesday, June 19th, at Montclair Town Hall.  (Photo by Glen Frieson)

Freeholder Gill introduced Deanna London as “a true Montclair treasure” when he described the compassionate work she did as Executive Director of the Human Needs Pantry, from which she stepped-down on March 31st, after 25 years of service.

“Deanna, on behalf of the entire Freeholder Board, and especially the countless people you’ve helped over the last quarter-century”, said Gill, “thank you so much for caring, and for your efficient and compassionate work.  I know you are not retiring, but rather just moving on to the next challenge.  Whatever that may be, I know you will do it well… and that the community will be a better place as a result.”

Freeholder Gill also noted that London’s service was lauded by the late Senator Frank Lautenberg in the March 22nd Congressional Record when he said:  “Her dedication to her fellow New Jerseyans and the compassion she has shown for her neighbors in need is an inspiring example of an American putting everything aside to do all she can for others.  It is what America is all about – that we are all in this together.”

The Human Needs Food Pantry, Inc., located at 9 Label Street, was established in 1982 by the First Baptist Church of Montclair, and later incorporated as an independent non-profit organization.  With a staff of five paid part-time employees and over thirty regular volunteers, it distributes meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, non-perishables, as well instant formula, baby food and diapers for parents with infants.  It also provides clothing, housewares and medical screenings in conjunction with Mountainside Hospital.  Most of the food distributed is received through programs coordinated by the Community Food Bank of NJ, with the remainder obtained from food drives and the purchase of supplemental fresh food. 

London began her association with the Human Needs Pantry as a volunteer in 1989, then as a paid employee in 1990, before assuming the position of Executive Director in 1996, the position she held until her departure.  In that role, she had total operational responsibility which included personnel management, building maintenance, client outreach, fundraising activities, the ordering of food and community relations and outreach.

London was born in Brooklyn and earned her B. S. degree in Political Science from the Manhattan Campus of SUNY.  She has been married to her husband, Vincent D’Amico, for 32 years, and they have lived in Glen Ridge for the last 31 years.

 “I think I probably got more out of the work I did than the people I helped”, said London, “because there’s nothing better than going home at night knowing that you didn’t just take up space… that you helped somebody and did something.”  Reflecting on her time with the Pantry, she commented, “Whenever anyone asked what my greatest wish for the Pantry was, I always told them it was that it go out of business… but that’s just not going to happen because there are so many people who need help, more now than ever.”   


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For Additional Information:
Gary Kroessig, Public Information
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders




Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695