ANDOVER, NJ- Perona Farms is stepping up to support area residents in need during the coronavirus pandemic.  Beginning tomorrow, people who need a meal will be able to pick up a “ready to heat” dinner on March 19 between 2 and 5 p.m.

Owner Bryant Avondoglio said the protocol will be for people to drive up to the portico in the front of the Perona Farms, one at a time for self-service, without personal contact. 

No registration is needed. Meals will be provided on a first come first serve basis until supplies runout. On Thursday the culinary team is going to prepare shrimp and sausage gumbo and beef stroganoff with pasta.

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While Perona Farms will not be verifying need, Avondoglio said, “ We hope that people will be respectful of their neighbors during this difficult time for all of us and respectfully use this distribution if they are in need. We will not question anyone arriving for meals.”

"For us, doing our part in any crisis situation is providing hospitality. As a family business and community leader for over 100 years, this is one of the toughest situations we have faced," said Bryant Avondoglio, general manager and fifth generation Perona. "Our hearts go out to all those affected by this virus. This is especially tough for our team members and our clients; many who have been planning their events for over a year." 

There is no cost to the patrons who need the food.  They are accepting donations for meals will be accepted by the Perona Farms Foundation for those that are able. The foundation, formed in 2017, supports community organizations and scholarships.

Avondoglio said Perona Farms provided paid sick leave and no-cost medical insurance to their staff working more than 24 hours a week.  They are covering their insurance premiums entirely throughout this extended shut down.

Perona Farms is currently closed for large events. They are working with clients to reschedule events.

“Some members of the Perona Farms team are working to safely sere our friends and neighbors,” Avondoglio said.

As the community tries to support the local hospitality industry, Avondoglio had this advice, "By following all the latest health recommendations you are not only keeping your family safe, you are helping the entire hospitality industry get through this difficult time as quickly and safely as possible. The best way to reduce the timing of this horrible situation is to work together as a community and put a stop to the spread of the virus."