NEWARK, NJ – Essex County’s Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and Essex County’s Board of County Commissioners will be hosting an emergency food distribution event in Essex County’s Weequahic Park, Newark on Thursday, January 7th.

According to a press release from the district, the event is intended to help families affected by the coronavirus.

The 1,000 boxes of groceries that are being distributed are intended to benefit families who have become unemployed and cannot afford groceries.

It will be held as follows:

  • Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021
  • Time: 9 a.m.
  • Location: Essex County Weequahic Park. Enter on Meeker Avenue, Newark, NJ

It will be kept rain or shine, officials said.

Here’s how it will work, officials said:

  • Residents driving to the construction site should enter the park through the Meeker Avenue entrance. Residents waiting to enter the park should line up along Meeker Avenue before turning right into the park. Left turns into the park from Meeker Avenue are not permitted.
  • Residents walking to the construction site should come to the Rev. Ronald Christian Sports Complex. A station will be set up next to the parking lot on the west side of the soccer field. Residents going to the construction site must wear a face mask / covering and follow social distancing guidelines. It is recommended that residents who go to the construction site bring a cart. The boxes weigh about 40 pounds.
  • Residents who drive or walk are asked not to arrive at the construction site until 8 a.m. This is done to allow normal traffic flow through the area and to prevent traffic safety from being created.

According to county officials, the emergency food boxes contain enough food to provide around 40 meals. They consist of a variety of non-perishable foods such as oatmeal, rice, fruit, peanut butter, jelly, long-life milk and canned vegetables, chilli, soup, and ravioli. Items may vary based on availability.

Only an emergency grocery box is placed in the trunk of a vehicle or given to any resident who goes to the construction site.

Buses are not allowed to enter.

“The coronavirus has forced enormous numbers of people out of work and created food insecurity for residents who now have limited or no income,” said Joseph DiVincenzo Jr., executive of Essex County, adding that additional events Emergency food distribution is scheduled on a weekly basis.

“Unfortunately, in the past few months, the number of Essex County residents who need help to provide food for their families has increased,” said Brendan Gill, president of the County County Commission.

“I take great pride in serving our residents, and I hope the upcoming food distribution events will help more Essex County residents receive aid,” said Gill.

Wayne Richardson, vice president of the county commission, said the Essex County’s emergency food distribution event held at the Brook Park Branch in late April was a huge success.

“We were able to distribute over 2,000 boxes of groceries to residents in need,” said Richardson. “Our goal is to replicate this success across Essex County towns and cities, and to enable all of our residents to get groceries in a location that is in close proximity to their community.”

Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness of the millions of Americans who are starving. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that by 2020 more than 50 million Americans will not have enough nutritious foods to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a social patch project. Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how to donate in your community or find a pantry near you.

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