Finding Faith: How 'Superman' helps feed the needy in New Jersey

Inside a sprawling warehouse in New Jersey. you can find Phil Stafford, a man whose actions have earned him the moniker "Superman."

Stafford voluntarily spends his days and nights gathering donated food from supermarkets and restaurants. He stocks and stores the supplies, so he can feed hungry adults and families in New Jersey every week. 

"We keep stuff on hand for families that are totally out of food," Stafford said. 

Most Saturdays, rain or shine, people line up at the make-shift food pantry in the back parking lot of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Wallington, New Jersey. The church is part of the Archdiocese of Newark.  

While Stafford does not consider himself religious, Father Timothy Graff says there is no doubt feeding the hungry is doing God's work. 

"Our faith calls us to take our faith in the Lord our faith in scriptures our faith in the church and how is it I live this out each day," Father Graff said.

For Mary Mulligan and her disabled daughters, the food pantry is a lifeline.

"This is awesome, they come out in all weather, they call if there's an issue, they're so kind without their help we would not get fresh food that we need," Mulligan said.

Before he reached superhero status, Phil found himself in need of help. He lost his home to flooding during Hurricane Floyd. 

But that tragedy became a turning point in Stafford's life. He would eventually quit his job as a house painter and form a non-profit called The New Jersey Food and Clothing Rescue. 

"It's really rewarding because I've been in that position myself and didn't get so much help so that's part of what led me to doing this," Stafford said.

The non-profit, which started in 2015, has expanded from feeding only a couple of hundred people a week to now, where they feed thousands of people. 

"So many people are struggling right now and they are half a paycheck, it used to be a paycheck now it's half a paycheck away from being out on the street. Once you're out on the street you can't get back on your feet it's very difficult," Stafford said.

His selfless work has not only earned him the cape and the nickname but the respect of those he serves and praise from the Archdiocese of Newark. 

"When you serve the poor you are taking care of their immediate needs but it's also an expression of your faith in God," Father Graff said.