NEWARK, NJ — The following news release comes courtesy of the United Community Corporation. Learn more about posting announcements or events to your local Patch site.
United Community Corporation, Roosevelt Community 4U and Bessie Green Community Inc. have teamed up for the third time this summer to host a massive free food distribution event serving the City of Newark.
The event will take place Sunday, Aug. 30 at Barringer High School (90 Parker St, Newark, NJ 07104) from 2 to 5 p.m.
The three nonprofits partnered with Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr., Newark Public Schools and The Allen Village CDC for this specific food drive, which will distribute both perishable and non-perishable food, drinks and protein to people in need.
“The one thing that made all of our organizations fit perfectly together is that we’re all focused on helping the community,” United Community Corporation Executive Director Craig Mainor said. “There weren’t any egos involved. We all have the same goal of providing for the City of Newark.”
Cars should enter the Barringer High School parking lot through the Parker Street entrance off of Park Avenue for the drive-thru distribution. Walk-in clients are also welcome. Face coverings are required for all in attendance.
Barringer High is the city’s third location to host the event. It was previously held at West Side Park and most recently at the Edison Place Parking Lot. The Edison Place distribution serviced 4,917 vehicles and 421 walk-up clients. A total of 21,352 meals were served.
And the giving is just getting started.
United Community Corporation, Roosevelt Community 4U and Bessie Green Community plan to continue food distribution events throughout Newark in hopes of reaching as many of the city’s in-need populations as possible.
“We live in the United States and we believe that all communities should be united not only now but all year,” Rabbi Moshe Hezrony, who founded the Monmouth County-based Roosevelt Community 4U, said. “Next month it is the Jewish New Year. We would like to bless everyone with a happy, healthy and united year.“
Distribution events like these provide the United Community Corporation, which has served Newark since 1964, an important opportunity to speak with clients about the many crucial services it offers; including a 24-hour emergency shelter, a food pantry that served over 20,000 meals in July alone, housing/rental/energy assistance and youth development programs.
“It almost starts a domino effect,” Mainor said. “We’re helping people with food needs at the distribution. Then, we can introduce or reintroduce ourselves to them and let them know about other services that could possibly help them meet more of their needs.”
Many people in Newark are in dire need of those services.
COVID-19 hit Essex County hard with over 20-thousand cases - ranking it the second worst hit county in New Jersey. At the height of the pandemic, the unemployment rate in Essex County rose from 4.60-percent in March to 16.80-percent in April. In 2019, Essex County had 2,235 homeless people with nearly 2,000 living in Newark. Due to the coronavirus’s economic effects, that already staggering number is in serious jeopardy of rising with an estimated 78-percent of the city's residents renting.
“A lot of the folks that come to the distributions, are people that have not come to us in the past,” Mainor said. “These new clients may have never gone to a non-profit before and we are their first contact with one. We’re here to take people from despair and offer them some type of hope in their life. That’s what is most important to us.”
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