About Us

In 1981, our founder, Barney Welch decided to drop off some fish at the Missionaries of Charity in the South Bronx. His niece was beginning her career as a nun with Mother Teresa. That evening when a nun answered the door and said “Thank God you’re here. We’ve been praying for food all day”, Barney’s life changed. Barney felt “like I was raised right off the ground. I realize what waste there is in this country. It was a hard push, and it’s kept me going ever since.” He was the answer to their prayers for food, and this spurred him on. He became known by all as “Uncle Barney”.

Barney started collecting leftover food at supermarkets. In Middletown, he was known as “the man in the dumpsters”. At the A&P, he climbed into a dumpster and sifted through, looking for food which could be brought to the poor. At the beginning, he was able to salvage a few cases of edible food each day, which he would deliver to the nuns in the South Bronx. Following the example of Mother Teresa, he tossed a Miraculous Medal into the A&P and requested their leftover food. Mother used this method many times with great success. Barney also was successful, not only with A&P, but with other supermarkets as well.

Today we receive food from Delicious Orchards in Colts Neck, Shop Rite in Hazlet, BJ’s in Oakhurst, Food Town in Atlantic Highlands, Stop & Shop in Middletown and Whole Foods in Middletown. Also a substantial amount of bread each week is received from a bakery complex in Lakewood.

We make use of all food received. Old bread is used by a local farm as animal food. In return, each week we receive 60 doz. eggs in return.

We deliver food to the Missionaries of Charity in Harlem (NY), the Bronx (NY), Manhattan (NY), Brooklyn, Newark (NJ), Plainfield (NJ), and Asbury Park (NJ). Also we deliver to the Franciscans of the Renewal in the South Bronx and Newark, Catholic Workers at the Bowery, and others. We also distribute locally to Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, St. James Church in Red Bank, St. Mark’s Soup Kitchen in Keansburg, Project Paul in Keansburg, St. Mark’s Soup Kitchen in Keyport, Senior Center in Red Bank,   St Vincent de Paul – local churches, 2nd Baptist Church in Long Branch, Broken Loaves in Matawan, Friends Feeding Families in Belford, Glad Tidings in Tinton Falls, Haitian Community in Asbury Park, Homeless Shelter in Aberdeen, Lunch Break in Red Bank, Open Door Policy in Freehold, Salvation Army in Red Bank, St Anthony Church in Red Bank, St Benedict’s in Holmdel, St Catherine’s in North Middletown, and St Leo’s in Lincroft.

 

Collectively, there are over 150 unpaid volunteers, (no one is paid), who move more than 8 tons of food per week to feed the poor.

And we subscribe to Mother Teresa’s principles, which are prayer and divine providence. We say our prayers every day and we believe God will provide. It’s as simple as that. We abide by Mother Teresa’s rule excluding all forms of fund raising.

Donations are the direct result of Divine Providence and prayer, by our co-workers and especially by the priests, brothers & sisters we service. Also, through various articles in local newspapers and church bulletins, the laity has become increasingly aware of our mission, and with a greater awareness, donations also increase.

Over the years, we have been honored many times. In 2007, we received the Crystal Beacon Award from the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce as the Volunteer Organization of the Year. The most prestigious award received was an award from the Caring Institute in Washington, DC.

Every year at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington,DC, the Caring Institute honors those who promote the values of caring and public service. The head of the institute, Val Halamandaris, received a letter from Mother Teresa in June, 1996. Mother said: “You asked me if I knew of anyone who might be honored with a Caring People Award. There is a man who, over the years, has come to be the supplier of so many of the soup kitchens and shelters in New York…I am sorry that I don’t know his name…we just call him Uncle Barney”

Barney received his Caring People Award in 1997, and it is currently on display at the Caring Museum in Washington, DC.

Today we are operating out of a new building on Kanes Lane in Middletown, courtesy of Jack Murphy who owned Murphy bus & Limo. We moved into the building at the end of February, 2007, our seventh location.

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AWARDS RECEIVED BY THE BARN FOR THE POOREST OF THE POOR

  • 1986 Township of Middletown Police DepartmentJoseph McCarthy, Chief
  • Community Service Award
  • 1994 Middletown VFW Post 2179Ladies Auxiliary 
  • Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award
  • 1997 Caring Institute Award 
  • Washington, D.C.
  • 1998 Man of the Year Award 
  • In Recognition of Service Above & Beyond the Call to Duty to the Citizens of NJ
  • 2002 Board of Chosen Freeholders of Monmouth County 
  • Proclamation Honoring Barney Welch
  • 2002 NJ State Council Columbiettes 
  • Humanitarian Award
  • 2007 Crystal Beacon Award
  • Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce