Toni’s Kitchen Partnering With NJ Citizens Action To Help Our Guests


As part of Toni’s Kitchen’s commitment to improving the lives of our guests, we have built a partnership with NJ Citizens Action (NJCA), a statewide coalition and grassroots organization that fights for social, racial and economic justice for all and helps vulnerable populations meet their basic needs. Team members from NJCA are at Toni’s Kitchen two days each month (one weekday and one Saturday) during Choice Pantry to assist our guests with a variety of issues, including health care, housing, financial coaching, and others.

Nancy Xenakis, a staff member of Toni's Kitchen who manages the partnership, says that NJCA is helping guests in navigating their health care options. "They do health care enrollment, both the NJ FamilyCare (Medicaid) program as well as the New Jersey Marketplace," says Nancy. "They help people who are not eligible for Medicaid but are interested in finding a health plan that's affordable. That was a big need for our guests and NJ Citizens Action is helping to fill that gap."

NJCA also helps guests with: tax preparation during the tax filing season; counseling for first-time home buyers; financial coaching, and information about budget preparation and managing their income and expenses.

In addition, Nancy says they help guests with housing-related issues. "We have many guests that have challenges with their living situations. If a guest is having challenges with a landlord, they can give information about fair housing court and tenant rights," says Nancy.

NJCA staff members who come to Toni's Kitchen are fluent in English and Spanish, and they do followup work with the guests they meet at Toni's. So far since the start of the partnership in February, 213 guests have received assistance from NJCA during Choice Pantry and 47 have received services across the range offered.

NJCA is another member of our network of partner organizations that help our guests with life challenges.