Valentine’s Day may have passed, but United Community Corporation isn’t ready to stop spreading the love.
On Saturday, Feb. 27, the Community Action Agency will host a Love Fest Event from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at West Side Park in Newark.
The event will be highlighted by the distribution of groceries, socks and toiletries as well as raffles for gift baskets and informational resource tables.
“It is a blessing to be able to help out so many families,” West Side Park Office Manager Christian Marsette said. “Putting a smile on somebody’s face makes my day so much better. Our main focus is to provide the resources to people and I’m really grateful that those in-need come out to our events for those resources.”
The Love Fest Event will be the latest in a series of monthly distribution events hosted by United Community Corporation at West Side Park. Since the pandemic began, the events have served over 6,000 individuals.
“It is very important to have these events monthly,” Director of Youth, Family and Senior Services Yucleidis Melendez said. “Doing something just once or twice wouldn’t fully serve others or help meet the necessary needs. This is something that has to be done consistently because the need is always going to be there.”
Melendez and her staff are doing their part in filling that need. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the team held a pop-up food distribution at West Side Park thanks to food provided by the Community Food Bank of N.J. The pop-up distribution served 387 individuals despite being a last-minute event.
“It was a blessing in disguise because the people needed food and were so thankful,” Melendez said. “We gave out a lot of food and a wide variety of food. We didn’t limit people on what they could take. We definitely helped a lot of families.”
Saturday’s Love Fest was made possible by United Community Corporation’s network of reliable partners. Aetna, Outrageous Outreach, Hopes Bridges Us, La Casa de Don Pedro, St. Paul Sounds of Praise Church, Beauty For Ashes, and Chosen Ministries will be taking part in the upcoming event.
“The partners play a big role because, without them, our community events wouldn’t be nearly as successful,” Marsette said. “The partners help take our events to another level. They are able to give us things that we may not have to provide to the community. They bring more elements to our community events and we thank them for that.”