NEWARK, NJ – The coronavirus pandemic has created a tremendous need in Newark. But it has also inspired an unprecedented spirit of collaboration, some say.

Recently, United Community Corporation, Roosevelt Community 4U, and Bessie Green Community Inc. teamed up to serve more than 23,000 people in a massive food distribution event in Brick City.

Within three hours, thousands were lining up at Barringer High School for a much-needed care package of food and drink. A total of 3,978 cars and 1,251 walk-in customers were served during the event, with the average family size being between four and five people.

It was a touching demonstration of community camaraderie, with more than 270 volunteers and over 20 Essex County groups including Anibal Ramos Jr., North Ward Alderman, Anibal Ramos Jr. Civic Association, Newark Public School District, and The Allen Village CDC.

The event was also supported by the Newark Police Department, Newark Essex County Constable, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, and the Newark Fire Department.

The story continues below

Photo: Ashley Gray

“The pandemic has created a tremendous need in our city and an unprecedented spirit of collaboration,” said Ramos. “So many organizations took part in this event to make it a success.”

“This is a great example of a community coming together to help those in need,” added Ramos.

“These days we see how collaboration between leaders of different communities in support of those in need can create bridges between different communities, cultures and races,” said Rabbi Moshe Hezrony, founder of the Roosevelt Community 4U.

“To see the overwhelming number of volunteers from various organizations giving up their time on a beautiful Sunday afternoon was truly uplifting in this time of unprecedented hardship,” agreed Pauline McKeown, secretary of the Bessie Green Community Board.

“The number of people being served is so high that I feel good and sad at the same time,” said Craig Mainor, executive director of United Community Corporation. “Over 20,000 people make me very happy, but it also lets me know that there is so much more we can do.”

Fortunately, sometimes a worthy event can open its own doors, Mainor said, pointing out that the United Community Corporation had an opportunity to educate people about their other services, such as a 24-hour emergency shelter, pantry where over 20,000 meals were served July and housing / energy aid.

“We have already received calls for our services from people who were standing in line,” said Mainor.

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 54 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.

Send local news tips and correction requests to [email protected]

Don’t forget to check out Patch Newark’s Facebook page. Learn more about posting announcements or events on your local patch site. Sign up for patch email newsletters.