Many soup kitchens are seeing more clientele than ever before, and are having to stretch their budgets as far as possible.
On Friday, soup kitchens in Paterson, Newark and Perth Amboy received cartons of restaurant-prepared meals to be served for free to residents in need, thanks to FeedNJ, the campaign that buys meals directly from local restaurants to serve in their communities.
Toro’s in Paterson, Belle John’s in Newark, and The Barge in Perth Amboy provided meals to the respective soup kitchens.
"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disproportionately impact communities of color and low to moderate-income residents throughout New Jersey and with so many things to worry about I believe access to food should not be one of them," Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez said. “I am proud to continue partnering with FeedNJ and their innovative model that supports local businesses while helping people in need of a quality meal."
These meal deliveries not only support local restaurants like Toro’s, which, to date, has had over 1,000 meals purchased from FeedNJ, but also enable the soup kitchen crews a chance to meal prep for the coming days.
“When people come here for food, and they see meals from their favorite restaurants or restaurants they know of, it makes them feel special," Chef Dave Bein, Kitchen Director at Eva's Village, said. Evas Village has been the recipient of over 2,000 meals from FeedNJ and serves meals every weekday throughout the year.
Though FeedNJ purchases food from local restaurants to be distributed across the state every week of the year, #FeedingFriday is a designated day of action on the last Friday of each month, which began in August.
An additional 300 meals will be served to Bergen County Promise in Hackensack and the Matawan Borough Hall on Tuesday, November 24, the latter being a collaboration with the Borough of Matawan Mayor and Council. The meal services begin at 3:00 and 4:00 p.m., respectively.
FeedNJ is on track to raise over $1,000,000 by the end of the year. To date, the FeedNJ initiative has served 30,000 meals statewide in an attempt to curb the ever-growing hunger issue.
To donate to FeedNJ or become a partnering restaurant or soup kitchen, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be made through www.soupkitchen411.com.