(ORANGE, NJ) - Under   the   advisement   of   NJEA,   Orange Eduction Association (OEA),   the   local   education   union   of   Teachers,   Paraprofessionals,  Secretaries,   and   Security   Guards   in   Orange,   NJ   is   providing   over   800   meals   to   the   Orange   Police  Department,   Orange   Fire   Department,   East   Orange   General   Hospital   staff,   Saint   Barnabas   Hospital   staff,  Love   of   Jesus   Church   Food   Bank staff   and   local   grocery   store   staff.  

Due   to   restrictions   imposed   in   response   to   the   COVID-19   Pandemic,   the   OEA   Pride   in   Public   Education  Committee   is   able   to   provide   funding   and   coordinate   efforts   to   support   workers   on   the   front   line   by  patronizing   local   restaurants   in   Orange,   NJ.   Starting   on   April   9,   individually   wrapped   meals   purchased  from   Bella   Italia   Restaurant,   Sandwiches   Unlimited   and   Sunsplash   Caribbean   Bakery   will   be   served   to  the   workers   who   have   to   go   to   work   each   day   to   serve   others.    Not   only   will   workers   be   given   a  delicious   meal,   but   local   businesses   will   benefit   from   these   large   orders   at   a   time   when   they   need  customers   most.  

This   event   is   a   continuation   of   the   work   OEA   has   done   to   stand   in   the   gap   to   get   food   to people   who  deserve   and   need   it   most.   It   began   when   some   senior   citizens   in   Orange   expressed   a   need   for   groceries  to   Antoinett   Hall,   OEA   Pride   Chair.    A   vulnerable   population,   they   had   limited   transportation   available  to   go   shopping   and   they   couldn't   readily   find   fresh   meat   to   buy.   Within   2   days   of   the   request,   Marpessa  Bell,   OEA   Treasurer,   secured   30   bags   of   groceries   from   the   only   local   food   bank   that   was   still   open,   The  Love   of   Jesus   Church   Food   Bank.    Ms.   Hall   and   Ms.   Bell   delivered   the   food   to   the   senior   citizens   on  March   26,   2020.    The   OEA   “topped   off”   the   food   bank   provisions   with   fresh   meat   they   purchased   from  Unity   Beef   Sausage   Company   in   Newark,   NJ.    The   seniors   appreciated   the   food   donation   as   much   as  they   appreciated   the   consideration   and   kindness   that   was   extended   to   them.  

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