ELIZABETH, NJ – “Hunger does not take a vacation,” says Assemblywoman Annette Quijano who has launched a month-long food drive to combat hunger among local homeless men, women, and children in New Jersey.

“People often suffer homelessness and hunger at the same time. In our own community, this is a real problem, especially for families that depend on free or reduced school meals to feed their children,” said Quijano. “For seven years, we have helped to provide these families and others in need with nutritious food that they otherwise might not be able to get.” 

Quijano has partnered with the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless and St. Joseph Social Service Center for the past six years to distribute sandwiches to homeless individuals and families in the Elizabeth area. 

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“The need for food has doubled since we started seven years ago. For some people, this allows them to stretch their food budget to make ends meet. For others, this is all they have,” said Executive Director of the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, Linda Flores-Tober.

Volunteers will prepare sandwiches every Monday in August from 10 a.m. to noon at the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless, 118 Division Street, in Elizabeth. 

Anyone interested in donating to the food drive can email Diego Mazariego at dmazariego05@gmail.com or call 908-409-1869, or log onto https://theelizabethcoalition.eventbrite.com.

Quijano said volunteers helped prepared 1,000 sandwiches, which were paired with a nutritious snack, to be distributed throughout the week. 

“This is a real community effort. I want to thank the sponsors who continue to support this drive and the volunteers who help us execute it. Without them, this would not be possible,” said Quijano. “We all have a responsibility to help those who have fallen on hard times. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and the impact we’ve been able to make with the support of sponsors and volunteers.”

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