UNION COUNTY, NJ - An emergency drive-up food distribution for Union County residents to aid those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on Saturday, September 12 beginning at 9 a.m. at Kean University, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union.

The distribution will take place in the parking lot located at the intersection of North Ave. and Morris Ave.  The food distribution will be first-come, first-served and no registration is required.

The food distribution is being sponsored and coordinated by the County of Union and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

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Feeding America, of which CFBNJ is a member, projects a 56% increase in food insecurity throughout New Jersey as a result of COVID-19--an additional 432,000 residents. This rate is higher than the national average of 46% and greater than any of New Jersey's neighboring states.

In Union County, specifically, the projected food insecurity rate has risen from 8.2% to 12.9%.

“Despite the progress being made, food insecurity remains a major concern among many families,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The Freeholder Board and the County continue to work hard in assisting our residents and these drive-up food distributions have been a lifeline to many affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We are all working together to ensure that our residents receive the necessary resources to support them during this time as they face unprecedented  levels of unemployment, housing issues and food insecurity,” said Freeholder Sergio Granados who also serves as Liaison to the Human Services Advisory Board. “This free food distribution is another example of the work being done by the Freeholder Board to assist residents in need during this pandemic. We thank the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and volunteers involved in coordinating this effort.”

Residents who wish to pick up food must arrive in a car; walk-ups will not be accommodated.

Upon arrival, each driver will have to present identification with their name and address and indicate how many people reside in their household. Recipients will receive an emergency box of non-perishable items and fresh produce, with enough to sustain a family for several days. Please note that only one box of food will be provided per vehicle. This event will take place, rain or shine.

"The increase in need for food assistance among our New Jersey neighbors during this crisis has been staggering, presenting a greater challenge than anything that the FoodBank has faced throughout its 45-year history," said Carlos Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. "Partnerships like the one that we have with Union County are what allow the FoodBank to continue its unprecedented response, reaching more individuals and families in need than ever before."

This event will run in compliance with state COVID-19 orders, regarding social distancing and other protocols. All recipients must remain in their cars with windows rolled up at all times, otherwise masks are required. Food boxes will be placed in the trunk or truck bed of the vehicle by volunteers.

For questions and more information, residents may call the UCDHS Director’s Action Line at 888-845-3434 or 908-558-2288.