NEWARK, NJ – A Newark nonprofit has officially opened its second pantry in town and is expected to give residents of the East Ward a welcome boost.

Earlier this week, the United Community Corporation (UCC) held a grand opening for their new food distribution center at Wolff Memorial Presbyterian Church, 106 Ann Street. There is also a free “clothes boutique” on the second floor, which sells toys, book bags and other items.

It operates on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Find out more here.

The UCC’s existing food distribution program served more than 30,000 people in the first three months of 2021. Last year, 156,177 people were cared for.

According to UCC, the goal of opening a location in the East Ward was “a long time in the works”.

The Ironbound section of Newark was hit particularly hard by COVID-19 and was one of the neighborhoods to curfew due to a test positivity rate of more than 40 percent during a 10-day shutdown of the city.

The placement of their new food distribution facility in an area of ​​Newark that has been badly affected by the coronavirus – especially one with such a “diverse working class community” – was a key factor in the decision to expand the Wolff Memorial Presbyterian Church’s UCC staff said.

“We want to be visible to the East Ward community and show that we can help,” said Executive Director Craig Mainor. “We know the dire impact of the pandemic on this neighborhood and we want to be there to help.”

“Many of these people are important workers and we want to be able to serve them,” said Mainor.

Maria Torres, manager of the UCC pantry, recently named one of the city’s “unsung heroes”, said the new location will give a big boost to the Spanish and Portuguese residents of the East Ward.

“It will also really benefit the immigrant community,” said Torres. “They don’t always get a lot of help because they don’t have documentation. I’m very happy that we’re going to help this population and this area.”

“I know a lot of people are in dire need,” added Torres.

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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