Our Journey: Finding a Permanent Home for Our Food Support Programs

For over 40 years, Fisherman’s Mark has provided “help when help is needed” to neighbors facing challenging times. Central to our mission are food support programs, which play a vital role in ensuring that the individuals and families we serve (nearly 70% of whom live in Lambertville) have access to nutritious food and essential household items.

Usage of our food support programs has increased over 50% since 2020.  At the heart of our food programs is the Free MARKet, a food pantry with a store-like environment where individuals participating in our programs can shop with dignity and respect, served by a staff of dedicated volunteers.

Our Mobile MARKet delivers groceries and meals from the Free MARKet to the homebound – seniors and disabled individuals who should not and cannot be forgotten.

Our FLY (Feeding Local Youth) program provides nutritious lunches year-round for children who are food insecure through the Free MARKet.

Food donated to the Free MARKet does not go to waste. We freeze or use it quickly in recipes devised by the chef from the New Hope, PA event venue HollyHedge Estate, our partner in a game-changing program called Zero Waste. The chef, working with a staff of Fisherman’s Mark volunteers, makes delicious foods which we can then store and distribute, making use of every morsel we receive.    

Yet despite the success of the Free MARKet and its related food programs, it has no permanent home.

The Closson barn facility (formerly Homestead Market) was generously leased to us by the City of Lambertville as a temporary operations center when Hurricane Ida flooded the town and our location in the Hibernia Firehouse was lost.  It has proved to be the perfect location. It is within easy walking distance for most of the people we serve, most of whom have no car. It has parking for our van, staff, and those shoppers with cars. It has sufficient square footage for the market, dry and cold storage, a kitchen, and other requirements such as office space with potential for future growth if needed to remain effective. 

As we look to the future, securing a permanent home for the Free MARKet and Fisherman’s Mark’s food programs remains our top priority. We hope this has helped explain why. For more information, visit our FAQ. Stay tuned for updates on our efforts as we continue our mission of providing “help when help is needed.”  

Journey to a Permanent Home: A Timeline

May 2, 2024

A Message from the Lambertville Mayor

Andrew Nowick,
Mayor of Lambertville

The City of Lambertville and Fisherman’s Mark are negotiating the terms of the sale of the former Closson Farm Market property on the Holcombe Park site. For the past three years, Fisherman’s Mark has leased the Market from the City in furtherance of its food support operations for vulnerable populations in the area. In an effort to not only continue, but also expand these operations, Fisherman’s Mark has extended an offer to the City to purchase the Market. This area is excluded from the open space conservation restrictions that impact most of Holcombe Park, and therefore the City is able to consider such a sale. 

As part of the negotiations, the City and Fisherman’s Mark will collaborate on implementing appropriate zoning and design standards for the use of the Market. The City is also cognizant of the fact that significant public funds were used to acquire Holcombe Park in 2021, and will therefore ensure that the purchase price for the Market aligns with the fair market value of this parcel. Fisherman’s Mark provides valuable services to residents of the City and surrounding communities, and the City recognizes the importance of allowing these services to continue at a site that is well-suited to accommodate the needs of both Fisherman’s Mark and its clients. 

As these negotiations continue, more details of this proposed transaction will become public. The City, in its ongoing commitment to fiscal responsibility and open discussion, will ensure that all details are made available and that the public has ample opportunity to discuss this potential agreement prior to any final approvals. The City and Fisherman’s Mark look forward to continuing their discussions in the hope of presenting the public a great project that will significantly benefit the residents of the City.

Lastly, I do not have exact dates for the road projects yet. As soon as I do, I will let everyone know. The estimated time for completion is in the early part of June, with some work (concrete curbs, etc.) starting in May.

Best to all,


September 22, 2022

Bucks County Herald - Fisherman's Mark: A Lifeline for Many Affected by Storm

Jennifer Williford, Executive Director

Jennifer Willliford,
Executive Director
Fisherman’s Mark

By Jennifer Williford: On Sept. 3, 2021, Hurricane Ida ravaged our area. Flood water as high as three feet lifted cars and carried them for blocks. It poured into basements and drove people from their homes. The devastation was mind-numbing.

Our community jumped into action. Basements were mucked out; useless, waterlogged furniture and family possessions were hauled to the sidewalk for pick-up; donations were made for those in need of immediate financial support, many of whom had lost their homes completely.

Fisherman’s Mark was not immune to the destruction. Our home at the time, the Hibernia Fire House, was also significantly damaged in the flood.

We met the challenge by relocating the food pantry and our administration/social services offices so we could continue to provide for those in need.

We set up the Hurricane Ida Relief Grant, a program designed to systematize rapid allocation and distribution of much needed funds in collaboration with other local agencies.

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