Irvington offers array of events in time for Thanksgiving holiday

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IRVINGTON, NJ — For the upcoming holiday, the township has a list of planned events set to serve the community. Focused on the risk of contracting COVID-19, Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss is keeping safety precautions at the forefront of the family-oriented occasion.

Vauss said he is encouraging Irvington families to dine in and be safe during this Thanksgiving holiday season by providing Thanksgiving baskets to the first 400 families to register, according to Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Executive Director Deborah Smith Simpkins. 

Each basket will include one turkey, stuffing mix, macaroni and cheese, rice, yams and other vegetables, corn muffin mix, a beverage and dessert. Vauss said he does not want residents to risk attending super-spreader events. Distribution of holiday baskets will take place on Monday, Nov. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m., in front of Town Hall, 1 Civic Square. 

“During this holiday season, it is especially important that we provide Irvington residents with options,” said Vauss on Sunday, Nov. 8. “With the COVID-19 cases rising again, we wanted to do something to let our residents know we care about them by providing holiday baskets. It’s our way to let them know all is not lost and your mayor is here, your council members are here, and your government stands with you and for you.” 

In addition, the Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation, located at 346 16th Ave. in Irvington’s East Ward, will be distributing turkeys to registered families on Friday, Nov. 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Simpkins said she encourages families to register by calling Donna Derby at 973-416-0916. According to Simpkins, Irvington residents still have time to be eligible for a free turkey. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 25, from noon to 3 p.m., the INIC will also be distributing fully cooked grab-and-go Thanksgiving meals at the 346 16th Ave. location.

“The community really looks forward to this event, especially since our director, Mrs. Deborah Simpkins, along with every staff member, takes the time to prepare a special dish to assist Ms. Loretta in preparing the meals,” Donna Derby said on Friday, Nov. 6, referring to the cook who prepares the meals for this INIC event. “Last year, we fed over 400 Irvington residents.”

The INIC is also planning to prepare more than 120 meals to be delivered to the registered senior citizens within the township on Tuesday, Nov. 24. According to Simpkins, Director of Health and Senior Services Sonia Whyte will arrange for door-to-door delivery. 

Whyte says that the township is happy to serve senior citizens. 

“Thanks to INIC and Senior Center manager Gloria Chisom and the Senior Center staff, under the leadership of Mayor Tony Vauss, we are thrilled to serve the seniors within the township,” Whyte said on Sunday, Nov. 8. “We understand the pandemic has impacted their lives, and we are happy to provide meals and assistance in their time of need.”

“Nothing will be slighted,” Simpkins said of the door-to-door–delivery meals, on Friday, Nov. 6. “The meal will consist of a full Thanksgiving meal, including baked turkey wings, mac ’n’ cheese, rice, vegetables, desert and beverage.”

“We are people helping people with dignity and respect,” she added.

Photos Courtesy of Tony Vauss