NEWARK, NJ – A Newark nonprofit is helping local residents prepare for spring cleaning in the age of coronavirus.

The United Community Corporation (UCC) recently announced that Newark’s Community Action Agency will continue its series of monthly payouts in West Side Park. However, the March event will be slightly different and will include “essential cleaning supplies” in addition to food.

According to the organizer:

“While there is still plenty of free groceries to be had, UCC will also focus on cleaning, sanitizing, and safety needs at its Spring Cleaning sales event, which will be held on Saturday, March 27th from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm in the West Side Park Community , 600 South 17th Street, Newark. “

According to organizers, the event was an brainchild of UCC Senior Services employees, sponsored by Amerigroup RealSolutions, after many senior customers expressed the need for cleaning supplies – and families under UCC’s youth development programs agreed to the request.

“Seniors and families must choose between buying food or cleaning products during a pandemic,” said Yucleidis Melendez, UCC director of youth, family and senior services.

“Families are thinking about being both healthy and safe rather than addressing their food insecurity,” Melendez said. “The choice between these two things is extremely difficult. We want to be able to meet both of your needs for you.”

In preparation for the event, UCC is holding a fundraising campaign for cleaning products that will take place until the event on March 27th. UCC is requesting the following items to be given to the community during the sales event: laundry detergent, dish soap, dryer sheets, multipurpose cleaners, disinfectant wipes, gloves, face masks, and garbage bags. Items can be purchased from UCC’s Amazon listing and delivered directly to a UCC site: https://smile.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/ls/LE0XTG5STN7S.

“It is very important that people take part in the fundraiser as we want to make sure that everyone who attends the spring cleaning event has all the supplies they need,” said Christian Marsette, office manager at West Side Park.

“Providing cleaning supplies to the community is very important because with COVID-19 it is important that everyone take the right precautions and make sure they are doing the right things to stay clean and healthy,” Marsette said.

The spring cleaning event is run in partnership with Amerigroup RealSolutions, Hope Bridges Us, Beauty For Ashes, Saydah’s Career Planning Adventure, Covenant House, Tender Loving Totes, Girls Live, Love, Laugh, Inc., Chosen Generation & Ministries, and Saint Paul Sounds of Praise.

“Our partners are definitely what keeps us going,” said Melendez. “Your support, help and contributions enable us to increase the number of people we can serve and care for. The strength of our partners is a big reason for the success of our events.”

With the help of its partners and the dedication of its employees, UCC’s West Side Park events have served over 1,400 people by 2021.

“My employees have a heart for service,” said Melendez. “When we are part of the planning and activities on the day of the event, we really feel like we are doing something for the community. I am very proud of the time and effort we have put in and the work we are doing did last year to serve our community during this pandemic. “

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 about 42 million Americans may not have enough nutritious foods to eat in 2021 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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