ELIZABETH, NJ - Elizabeth Avenue furniture store owners Manny and Lourdes Salermo were in the giving spirit recently as they donated more than 250 meals to local families, residents and first responders to assist those affected by COVID-19 and thank those on the front lines. The event was held in front of Salermo Furniture, 913 Elizabeth Avenue, and was attended by Mayor Chris Bollwage, Councilman at-large Manny Grova and Councilwoman at-large Patricia Perkins-Auguste, who assisted in giving out meals. Numerous people donated to the cause including First Ward Councilman Carlos Torres and Elizabeth Fire Captain Mike Guarino, among others. 

"My wife and I were born and raised in Elizabeth and have built our business here" said Manny Salermo, whose family has been in the furniture business since 1972. "We wanted to give back to the community in any way we could and felt this was a great way to do it," he said. "I want to also give a special thanks to the local government here who have done a great job during this pandemic and of course our first responders, who put their lives on the line every day. Thank you to Mayor Bollwage and our Council members for coming out today, it is highly appreciated," Salermo said. 

Sin Fronteras Restaurant, 913 Elizabeth Avenue provided the food while the Elizabeth Avenue Partnership (EAP) made sure the area was clean and safe for the event with a special cleaning detail assigned to the area before the event. Hundreds of families came out before Salermo and Dave Strochak, Executive Director of the EAP visited the Elizabeth Police Department and Elizabeth Fire Department's Engine 3 and Engine 5 with food donations. 

Salermo said the event was a huge success and plans on doing another one in the coming weeks. "Growing up in this city and being able to give back is an amazing feeling," he said. "Many of the families who came out live and work in the area and have been customers of mine for a long time. I was glad to do it."