Spring holiday emergency food distribution event in Newark

NEWARK, NJ — Essex County will present a special spring holiday emergency food distribution event to help families negatively impacted by the coronavirus. There will be 1,000 frozen turkeys and boxes of nonperishable food distributed at the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center in Branch Brook Park in Newark on Thursday, April 1, at 9 a.m. The program is meant to benefit families who have been forced out of work and are not able to afford food.

“The coronavirus has forced an enormous amount of people out of work and created food insecurity among residents who now have limited income or no income at all. We are pleased to present this emergency food distribution event to help those who are in dire need,” Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said, adding that the county will continue to hold weekly food distribution events at locations across the county. “The coronavirus has created uncertainty and unforeseen challenges for us all. We hope this emergency food distribution helps those families who are struggling.”

“The Essex County emergency food distribution event that took place in Branch Brook Park last year was a great success. We were able to hand out over 2,000 boxes of food to residents in need. Our goal is to duplicate that success in different towns across Essex County, and give all of our residents a chance to receive food in a location that is in close proximity to their community. I thank the county administration for putting this plan in place, and I encourage all residents in need to participate over the next few months,” Commissioner President Wayne Richardson said.

Residents driving to Branch Brook Park should enter the park via the Heller Parkway entrance or more southern entrances. Cars entering from Mill Street or other northern entrances will not be allowed to make a left turn into the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center parking lot.

Residents walking to the site should come to a walk-up location by the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center. Residents walking to the site must wear a face mask/covering and follow social-distancing guidelines. It is recommended that residents walking to the site bring a cart.

Residents who are driving or walking are asked not to arrive at the site until 8 a.m. This is being done to allow for normal traffic flow through the area and prevent any traffic backups from being created.

Residents will receive a frozen turkey and an emergency food box. Only one emergency food box will be placed into a vehicle’s trunk or given to each resident who walks to the site.

Buses will not be allowed to enter.