COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort
Since April 2020, over three quarter of a million pounds in fresh produce and essential food items has been delivered and distributed to senior citizens and families in Newark. The COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort is a collaborative initiative with CareSparc Consulting, Table to Table and other local organizations, that addresses food insecurity during the global pandemic.
Each Thursday, while observing COVID-19 safety protocol, volunteers from Rutgers Medical School, Jersey Cares, and the local community, gather at the Conservancy to pack the bags for delivery. The bags are filled with fresh vegetables, herbs, fruit, milk, meats, desserts, juice, and other items and then delivered to the doorsteps of seniors living in buildings and private homes.
With COVID-19 making high risk seniors leery of going to crowded grocery stores, the weekly delivery of fresh, healthy food is a lifeline for many of them. At the start of the program, food was delivered to 1200 seniors in five buildings located in the Lincoln Park area. Since then, the program has expanded to 11 senior buildings and 600 families in the city of Newark.
The weekly food distribution has become a lifeline for both senior and family recipients during these uncertain times. In the words of one senior from the Colonnade Apartments, “It's a great help to me and my neighbors! I try to get the basic four food groups in every week and you guys get that for us and I appreciate it.” Knowing that there will be healthy food each week brings great peace of mind—especially for this mother who says, “Thank you for the food, especially the fresh produce. I am a single mother raising 5 kids. Our diet consist mostly rice, beans, pasta, potatoes, little meat. I cannot normally afford fresh produce, so the produce we receive every week is greatly appreciated! If it wasn’t for the donation, my kids would not have fresh produce as part of their diet.”
The COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort is made possible by the generous funding from our sponsors including the NJ Pandemic Relief Fund, Columbia Bank, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, and others. However, as we enter the second wave of the pandemic, additional funding is needed in order to continue the program further into 2021. To support this effort with a donation or sponsorship, please email Michele.
If you would like to volunteer on a Thursday, please complete the volunteer survey at: Volunteer Screening Survey.