Cumac Echo, Inc.

Ending hunger has nothing to do with giving people food.

aka CUMAC   |   Paterson, NJ   |  www.cumac.org

Mission

CUMAC’s mission is to fight hunger and its root causes through a holistic, trauma-informed approach that provides groceries and basic necessities to families and individuals in need.

Ruling year info

2010

Executive Director

Mr. Mark Dinglasan

Director of Operations

Laura Purdy

Main address

PO Box 2721

Paterson, NJ 07509 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

22-2657737

NTEE code info

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Employment Procurement Assistance and Job Training (J20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Trauma is a root cause of hunger and poverty that largely remains unaddressed by anti-hunger organizations such as food banks and food pantries. Although they provide valuable, immediate services, many food banks and pantries are downstream and needs-based models. Collectively, these programs (CUMAC included, thus CUMAC’s drive to change) are either ineffective or do not produce consistent positive outcomes. Furthermore, these systems are not sustainable because of their reliance on outside resources and dollars in order to continue operations. Trauma-informed work is dedicated to justice & equity, and equitable access to resources and opportunities for individuals and families. Unless trauma-informed work becomes interwoven into anti-hunger work, it will continue to remain downstream, inconsistent in positive outcomes, and not sustainable.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Place of Promise

Place of Promise is a permanent supportive housing program which endeavors to serve men and women with disabilities who are chronically homeless. This mission is fulfilled by providing services that assist each individual with setting and meeting personal goals and connecting to resources that will help them to become more self sufficient and live healthy and productive lives.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

CUMAC offers a large, trauma-informed choice marketplace where clients are able to select the foods they need while being assisted by a volunteer that has attended a training on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience, conducted by CUMAC. Through an appointment-based system, clients are able to schedule appointments once a month to come to the Marketplace. In 2020, we provided monthly groceries to over 38,000 people.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

CUMAC’s 28,000 square foot facility is utilized for securing, storing, and distributing fresh, healthy food and high-quality shelf stable products. Food insecurity data and client surveys are used to determine what food is sourced and where it is deployed. Food is distributed to clients through CUMAC programs and to partner organizations.

Population(s) Served

The Marketplace at Freedom Village is a health education and socialization program operated as a
satellite version of The Marketplace at CUMAC. Our clients at Freedom Village are able to select the foods they need while being assisted by a volunteer that has attended a training on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience, conducted by CUMAC. Through an appointment-based system, clients are able to schedule appointments once a month to come to the satellite Marketplace at Freedom Village.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

CUMAC's Benefit Enrollment Center provides free help with benefits applications for adults aged 65+ and adults living with a disability residing in Passaic County.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

ECO is a pilot program for mothers and their children where a safe, stable living environment is provided to the mothers and their children along with individualized service plans and case management. Families do not pay rent for these homes, they pay a membership fee of $400 a month. This is not a housing program, rather it is a program that helps moms to build self-efficacy, wealth, and equity.

Population(s) Served
Families
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total pounds of food rescued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

The Marketplace at CUMAC

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people within the organization's service area accessing food aid

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Families

Related Program

The Marketplace at CUMAC

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CUMAC is concerned with food justice. The goal of CUMAC’s work and its TICB strategy is to combat inequitable systems that perpetuate hunger and poverty by providing individuals and families with the power they need to secure equitable resources including jobs, housing, food, healthcare, and other supportive services. Driving our Trauma-Informed Community Building framework is the recognition of the difference between seeing a “poor person” and seeing a “person who is living in poverty”. When we see a “poor person” we try to change that person, but when we see a “person living in poverty” we are able to see the systems in place around that person that perpetuate and exacerbate hunger, racism, and the burden of health. By providing resources and referrals to supportive services for our clients through sustainable community partnerships, CUMAC decreases the barriers to accessing services and the amount of toxic stress that clients face. This reduction of toxic stress in combination with supportive services is a key part of our restorative process that builds on the existing resiliency of clients, decreases the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences, breaks the cycle of poverty, and creates a self-healing community. We understand that CUMAC cannot cure ACEs, but that through our work we can provide community members with tools to fight poverty, socioeconomic inequality and create true partnerships with the community with the hope that all social determinants of health can be improved. CUMAC strives to see a community powered by its residents, moving the needle on economic growth and social change.

CUMAC’s Trauma-Informed Community Building (TICB) strategy uses Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) research and asset-based community building principles to create an organizational culture dedicated to systematic change. Individuals who chronically endure ACEs between 0-19 years old often experience toxic stress and adopt negative health behaviors which cause an increased risk of illness and early death. Toxic stress not only affects the way our brains develop but also the physical and chemical reactions within our bodies. CUMAC understands that in order to positively influence social determinants of health, toxic stress needs to be addressed. Though ACEs cannot be cured, CUMAC’s various programs work to alleviate the burden of health by providing access to equitable opportunities individuals need to secure vital resources. CUMAC educates stakeholders and staff on ACEs and their effects and continues to build an upstream, proactive food policy to address hunger and its root causes, trauma.

CUMAC’s TICB Strategy includes continued growth to our Regional Food Hub, our choice Marketplace, home delivery service, permanent supportive housing program, benefits enrollment center, community closet, as well as, the future creation of the Family Empowerment Center (FEC), and Food Farmacy (FF). The FEC will build upon our Pathways to Work Program, continuing to foster self-sufficiency and independence for our clients through warehouse training and home-based childcare training. The Food Farmacy will build a bridge between food and healthcare access. Nutrition education within the Food Farmacy will be used to decrease diet-related comorbidities and reduce A1C levels in pre-diabetic and diabetic clients. Through our Regional Food Hub, Marketplace, partnerships, and other programs we will continue to mitigate toxic stress and alleviate the burden of health in our community.

CUMAC’s model for anti-hunger work has garnered the attention and support of the state, county, and city funders and has raised the profile of the organization. Additionally, foundational and individual philanthropy has steadily increased from 2017 through the present. Through continued cultivation, CUMAC has grown new relationships which have led to strong partnerships and generous support. Additionally, CUMAC has a robust volunteer program with more than 1,200 people volunteering on-site annually, many of whom continue to donate and grow CUMAC’s circle of supporters. By educating and engaging donors, we will ensure the continued support of our TICB strategy and grow the CUMAC family of individual donors and philanthropists. CUMAC’s development team focuses on donor engagement and education to create buy-in through regular online interactions and touchpoints with donors. CUMAC utilizes social media, donor cultivation meetings, and strategically positioned mailers throughout the calendar year. The development team is continually and creatively developing ideas for donor cultivation and sustainable funding in an effort to avoid donor fatigue and increase knowledge of CUMAC’s donor base on our approach to alleviating the burden of health. CUMAC ensures sustainable funding through continued interaction with donors as well as sharing specifics of how their money is being used in our work. These efforts will ensure the sustainability of CUMAC’s TICB model and choice Marketplace, which includes our home delivery service, by diversifying the sources of CUMAC’s revenue and enhancing personal engagement with key individual donors and philanthropists. CUMAC closely monitors sponsorship opportunities that best align with our mission. Other funders being pursued to fund this project include but are not limited to: the County of Passaic, the Bayer Foundation, the Lillian Schenck Foundation, the New Jersey Office of Resilience (NJOOR), Bank of America Foundation, and Wegmans Foundation.

Because of the work that CUMAC has already done, there is a young mother who used to be a gangbanger who now has a good job, has moved her family to a safer neighborhood, and has reconnected with her own mother. There is a father who entered the foster care system at 17-months old, who now as an adult is a warehouse supervisor. There is a young father who was recently released from prison and just needed a shot. And now he has a fulltime job and is thinking about going back to school. Because of the work CUMAC has done there is a young mother who had a history of chronic homelessness and abuse because she is a product of the foster care system, who now lives in a safe home with her five children, has a fulltime job, has a bank account, and is planning for the future. If CUMAC can empower four people, then CUMAC can empower ten people. If CUMAC can empower ten people, then CUMAC can empower 30 people.

This is how we end hunger. We need to stop seeing poor people and start seeing people that live in poverty. When you see a poor person, you try and change a person. When you see a person living in poverty, then all of a sudden you start to challenge yourself to change the systems in which that person lives, works, and grows. CUMAC's work is an effort to create a more just food access system.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    CUMAC serves families and individuals in need, most of those we serve are economically disadvantaged.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We recently held focus groups to determine what we are doing well and what we could improve upon. The culturally appropriate groceries in our Marketplace is a direct way we listen to the community and what they need from us.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    other,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    The community sees how CUMAC cares, by asking for feedback and using the feedback to give our clients a better experience, those we serve are able to see how we want to positively change systems in Passaic County.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Cumac Echo, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Cumac Echo, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/25/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Julie Holland

Columbia Bank Foundation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/25/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data