PATERSON, NJ - More and more people throughout the country—and in Paterson—are hungry as a result of COVID-19. Studies show that the rate of food insecurity rises when the national or local economy is unstable—such as during the current pandemic.

Indeed, in the last month, many Patersonians have been laid off, had their earnings drastically reduced, or have been unable to work due to illness. Families are trying desperately to keep a roof over their heads and feed their children—but sometimes there aren't enough resources to go around.

To help feed the hungry, NJCDC partnered with the Peruvian Import Company, La Chata restaurant, and the U.S. Census Bureau to feed 100 Paterson families-in-need. Their Neighborhood Help Center staff and volunteers have safely delivered 100 bags of food to neighborhood families, who also filled out our survey about how we can best help during this difficult time.

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Peruvian Import Co., based in Passaic, donated the food, which included pasta, pasta sauce, salsa, crackers, canned milk, powered coffee and drink packets, and cookies. Thanks to La Chata restaurant, families also received masks and gloves. And the U.S. Census Bureau's Partnership Specialist Carolina Chia provided reusable bags and water bottles.

"This is a prime example of what happens when caring people come together to make a difference," NJCDC Founder & CEO Bob Guarasci said. "Peruvian Import Co. donated the food; the U.S. Census Bureau gave us reusable bags and water bottles; and Paterson's La Chata restaurant provided us with a place to store all the food, as well as masks and gloves."

"This also wouldn't have been possible without the work of dedicated volunteers," Cristina Tone, the Assistant Director of our Neighborhood Help Center, added, "In addition to Peruvian Import Co., La Chata, and Caroline Chia from the Census Bureau, I worked with five volunteers who helped me organize everything, and two drivers who delivered the bags to those who needed our help."

Shared with permission from NJCDC

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