NEWARK, NJ — Just two weeks before New Jersey entered lockdown to stifle the spread of the coronavirus, Audible celebrate its 30,000 “Lunch Out” Wednesday visit, a program that has supported local restaurants in downtown Newark. 

Now, as the pandemic ravages the business sector and leaves thousands jobless in the city, Audible is continuing to pay it forward by partnering with José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen and chef Marcus Samuelsson to launch Newark World Kitchens, a free, daily meal delivery service for Newark residents in need. 

Audible is putting $1 million into the initiative, providing 100,000 meals at $10 each, according to a news release. Staying true to its roots supporting local businesses, the company will also launch a mentorship program with Newark Venture Partners and Invest Newark to provide restaurant owners and other small businesses free guidance on how best to navigate available federal, state and local funding in response to COVID-19.

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Since kicking off operations on Tuesday, the initiative has produced more than 4,000 meals for low-income senior housing residents and University Hospital ICU staff. Audible is working closely with the city of Newark to identity high-need populations and aims for its partner restaurants to distribute more than 7,000 meals in the coming week and more as the initiative grows. 
 
“Next week we will collaborate with six restaurants and expand our deliveries to five low-income senior housing buildings, as well as University Hospital and Newark Emergency Services for Families,” a spokeswoman told TAPinto Newark.