NEWARK, NJ – The Community FoodBank of New Jersey will present an Emergency Food Distribution Event Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Essex County Branch Brook Park for the benefit of families impacted by the Coronavirus.
The 2,000 boxes of food that will be distributed are intended for families who have been forced out of work who are not able to afford to purchase food.
In West Orange, the Holy Trinity Food Pantry received more than 3,000 pounds of food from the state and federal food bank of Hillside last week.
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Freeholder President Brendan Gill and Vice-President Wayne Richardson are partnering with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey for the event, which will go on, rain or shine, at the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center in the park.
“The Coronavirus has forced an enormous amount of people out of work and created food insecurity among residents who now have limited income or no income at all. Essex County has a long relationship with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, and we are pleased to partner with them to present this Emergency Food Distribution Event to help those who are in dire need,” DiVincenzo, Gill and Richardson said in a joint statement. “The Coronavirus has created uncertainty and unforeseen challenges for us all. We hope this emergency food distribution helps those families who are struggling."
“We are grateful for the longstanding relationship that CFBNJ has with Essex County and for this most recent coordinated effort in response to the coronavirus outbreak," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. "As the economic impacts of the pandemic worsen, we turn to partners like them to get nutritious food out to those who need it most, whether they were already struggling before this crisis or find themselves in need for the first time in their lives."
Residents who qualify to receive food must enter Branch Brook Park by the Heller Parkway entrance or other more southern entrances. Cars entering from Mill Street or other northern entrances will not be permitted to make a left turn into the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center parking lot.
Residents should not arrive until 8 a.m. Vehicles that arrive before 8 a.m. will be asked to leave. This is being done to allow for normal traffic flow through the park and prevent any traffic backups from being created.
The emergency food boxes prepared by the Community FoodBank of New Jersey contain enough food to provide for 40 meals. They consist of a variety of non-perishable food such as cornmeal, oatmeal, rice, fruit, peanut butter, jelly, shelf stable milk and canned vegetables, chili, soup and ravioli. Items may vary based upon their availability.
The emergency food boxes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. When residents arrive at the site, they should keep their windows rolled up and open their trunk. Volunteers will place one emergency food box into each vehicle.
This event will only provide boxes to cars. Buses will not be allowed to enter. In addition, people walking to the site cannot be assisted.
The West Orange Police Department and Local #25 PBA Union partnered to help assist local residents in need. More than 3,000 pounds of shelf-stable food along with fresh fruit and vegetables were picked up at the State & Federal Food Bank of Hillside and delivered to the West Orange Holy Trinity Food Pantry, which has been providing food for several hundred residents every week during the COVID-19 crisis, including seniors, the sick, and needy families and individuals.
"Special thanks go out to Lt. Matullo, Sgt. Palmere, Officers Piserchio, Brown, Orejuela, and Communications Officer Chris Babinski, who all donated their time and energy to assist in this worthwhile endeavor," said West Orange information officer Joe Fagan.