Food distribution event at Maplewood Pool

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. and the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders will present an emergency food distribution event on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the Maplewood Community Pool, 187 Boyden Ave., to help families negatively impacted by the coronavirus. The 1,000 boxes of food that will be distributed are meant to benefit families who have been forced out of work and are not able to afford food. Residents will receive one box of non-perishable food items. The distribution begins at 9 a.m.

“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,” DiVincenzo said. “The coronavirus has created uncertainty and unforeseen challenges for us all. We hope this emergency food distribution helps those families who are struggling.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected our communities in a multitude of ways,” Freeholder President Brendan Gill said. “Unfortunately, over the last few months, the number of Essex County residents requiring assistance to provide food for their families has increased. To that end, I am happy to join the county administration in announcing that more food distribution events will be coming to different municipalities across the county. Providing service to our residents is something I take great pride in, and it is my hope the upcoming food distribution events will allow more Essex County residents in need to receive assistance.”

“The Essex County emergency food distribution event that took place in Branch Brook Park at the end of April was a great success,” Freeholder Vice President Wayne Richardson said. “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.”

Residents driving to the site should line up along Boyden Avenue before turning right into the pool parking lot. Left turns from Boyden Avenue into the parking lot will not be allowed. Residents driving to the site should stay in their vehicles with their windows rolled up and open their trunk when they reach the distribution site.

Residents walking to the site should come to a walk-up location in front of the pool building. 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, as the boxes weigh approximately 40 pounds each.

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 occurring.

The box of nonperishable items contains enough food to provide about 40 meals. They consist of a variety of nonperishable food, such as oatmeal, rice, fruit, peanut butter, jelly, shelf-stable milk, and canned vegetables, chili, soup and ravioli. Items may vary based upon their availability. Volunteers will place one emergency food box into each vehicle or to each walk-up. Buses will not be allowed to enter.