ELIZABETH, NJ - Last week, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage and Union County Freeholder Sergio Granados announced that the City of Elizabeth in conjunction with World Central Kitchen, International Rescue Committee, the Department of Health & Human Services and the Union County Office of Community Engagement & Diversity, would begin a meal distribution program to families and those in need as the effects of COVID-19 continue to impact the country.
The program provided a total of 3,000 meals to residents in its first three days. As a result, Mayor Bollwage, Freeholder Granados and the organizations they are working with spoke with World Central Kitchen about increasing the number of meals being provided to the community.
“I am happy to say that World Central Kitchen agreed to not only increase the number of meals at each location, but they are more than doubling the amount,” said Bollwage. “In times of uncertainty, where families are all struggling to keep up with their bills or housing costs – wondering where they will get their next meal from should not be a worry. I would like to thank all our dedicated partners on this wonderful program. It takes a village, but we are in this together and we will always put the well-being of our residents first.”
Each location will now receive more than double the amount of meals than what was originally provided – bringing the total to over 3,000 meals daily to be distributed throughout the City of Elizabeth.
In addition to the hot and cold meals being provided to the community, Groundwork Elizabeth, a nonprofit organization, and the Elmora Farmer’s Market also volunteered to provide each location with fresh greens and fruits to be distributed with the meals.
“I cannot thank everyone enough for their ongoing commitment to our residents during this COVID-19 health crisis,” said Granados. “I am so humbled to be a Freeholder, where I get the fortunate opportunity to work with all of these generous organizations who are taking the time to put others first. Understanding the needs of our residents during these difficult economic times, I knew we had to move forward with the chance to offer free meals when it was first discussed. Making our communities grow for the better is part of what I believe in – so now more than ever, we need to stand strong together and help any way we can.”
The distribution program runs Monday - Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., (or until supplies last) at two locations for pickup:
O’ Donnell Dempsey Senior Center Stephen Sampson Center
618 Salem Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ 800 Anna Street, Elizabeth, NJ
Each person will receive grab-and-go lunch and dinner individually packaged meals. Social distancing will be a priority during this distribution. Each volunteer will be equipped with a mask and gloves, and there will be lines marking a 6-foot distance for those picking up food.
For more information, please call the City of Elizabeth Office Public Information at 908-820-4124 or the Office of Union County Community Engagement & Diversity at 908-527-4880.