WEST ORANGE, NJ — Perry Bashkoff, a West Orange resident, has come up with a way to support both local businesses and the township's first responders during the coronavirus crisis.

"I've been thinking of ways to help our amazing local businesses while supporting our incredible local heroes who are on the front lines risking their lives every day," Bashkoff said. "A few years ago, we came together for the food pantry and it's time to do it again."

Bashkoff is calling his initiative "Shop Local. Feed Local. Save Local." The mission is to collect donations, shop at local food establishments in town and "feed local heroes." He is coordinating with the rest of the community, collecting donations, making orders from local food establishments and coordinating with the Office of Emergency Management and the West Orange Fire Department. Various members of the community are handling pickups and deliveries.

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Bashkoff outlined the process as follows:

1) Collect donations via Venmo/Facebook payments
2) Make takeout/delivery orders from local food establishments
3) Deliver to "frontline heroes": West Orange police, firefighters, Education Task Force, Emergency Management Office and Department of Public Works (DPW)

"We've raised over $2,500 already and delivered from Fortissimo's, Willow and Olivia, Patsy's, and Frank's Pizza," Bashkoff said. "We have a bunch of options for donations; every little bit helps."

Anyone interested in taking part can do so via:
    Venmo (@justperry1)
    Facebook payments 
    Zelle - pbashkoff@gmail.com
    Cashapp (@justperry1)
    Paypal - pbashkoff@gmail.com

"Thank you to everyone who has donated and reached out offering to pick up or deliver," he said. "We're just getting started on this journey. Let's keep this going."

Social media hashtags are #WeAreWestOrange and  #CelebrateLife.