Newark Working Kitchens, a COVID-19 response that kept Newark restaurant employees working while delivering meals to seniors and low-income families, delivered their 1 millionth meal on June 10.
The 30 participating restaurants from NWK have reached more than 10,000 residents in the last 14 months.
“This milestone is testament to the great restaurant owners and workers, city and government leaders, and operational partners who have worked tirelessly to have a significant positive impact on Newark’s restaurant ecosystem and community without enough food,” said Don Katz, Audible founder and chairman of the board, in a prepared statement. “Our restaurants and communities still need us, so we welcome donors at all levels of donation to support NWK, and urge private sector decision-makers and government officials in other cities to consider how programs like these create jobs, businesses and lives in their own Communities can receive. ”
NWK was launched by Audible in April 2020 and its efforts were reinforced by a $ 2 million grant it received through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Sustain and Serve NJ program.
“The pandemic weighed on our restaurant, but it put an even greater strain on our community – many of whom have struggled with food insecurity and job loss,” said Josh Miller, co-owner of NWK-participating restaurants Robert’s Pizza and La Cocina. in a prepared statement. “Newark Working Kitchens have enabled me to employ nearly 20 people and feed our community. It was an honor to be part of NWK last year and to help achieve this achievement of 1 million meals served. “
The City of Newark also granted NWK 500,000, and donors include PSEG, TD Bank, the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, New Jersey Devils Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer. Local companies, organizations and private individuals also took part.
“Last March our shelves were empty and the lines were around the block. We had never seen such a need before and then Newark Working Kitchens came to save the day. Every single NWK shipment has had a tremendous impact on our community, “said Amina Bey, executive director of Newark Emergency Services for Families, in a prepared statement. “In a time of great uncertainty, these meals were a constant presence for the recipients and a lifeline for the restaurants they supported.”
Newark Working Kitchens restaurants currently participating include: Andros Restaurant & Diner, Barcade, Black Swan, Blueprint Café, Bulgogi Zip, Chicpea, City Rub Smokehouse, Cornbread, Fresh Coast, Harvest Table, Kilkenny Alehouse, King’s Family Restaurant & Catering, King’s # 1 Family Restaurant, La Cocina, Marcus B&P, McGovern’s Tavern, Mercato Tomato Pie / Novelty Burger, Mompou / Spanish Tavern, Nizi Sushi, O’La La Empanadas, Panzz Seafood & Wings, Pita Square, Robert’s Pizza, Sigri Indian BBQ, Taino’s , The Halal Guys, Uncle Willies Wings, Veggie Walla and the Weekend Spot.