NEWARK, NJ – The Greater Newark Conservancy can continue to support its food security programs during the COVID-19 pandemic after receiving a $ 100,000 grant on Wednesday.

The Newark-based organization received the grant from Prudential Foundation Inc., the philanthropic arm of Prudential Financial. Conservancy officials said the funds would benefit their programs, including COVID-19 emergency food distribution efforts, as well as efforts such as the organization’s Hawthorne Avenue farm.

“This extraordinary gift from Prudential will take some of the pressure off the cost of what we do so that we and our volunteers can focus on our critical mission and continue our efforts,” said Robin Dougherty, executive director of Greater Newark Conservancy.

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Founded in 1987, the reserve promotes environmental initiatives to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities, but also supports residents in need.

The COVID-19 emergency food distribution effort organized by CareSparc Consulting, Inc. has been delivering fresh groceries and produce to 1,500 seniors and 600 families in Newark weekly since April 2020.

In cooperation with public relations, Partner Table to Table delivers most of the food that is distributed. The Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s COVID-19 team and Jersey Cares also provide weekly volunteers for the distributions.

In addition to sales events, the Prudential funding will also support the Conservancy’s three-acre Hawthorne Avenue farm.

The farm is located in the South Ward and allows families to plant and grow their own vegetables, herbs and fruits. The farm is considered an essential service for food production and has remained open and active throughout the pandemic.

“Relieving food insecurity and providing fresh nutrients at this critical time when the pandemic is overwhelming many Newark residents is an incredible achievement,” said Eugene Fredua-Agyeman, Conservancy’s board member. “This grant is another way to support innovative solutions to systemic problems.”