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IRC in NJ's emergency food response

Launched in April, by May 1st, the IRC’s incredible partnership with World Central Kitchen and Elizabeth’s municipal leadership had provided its 100,000th meal. 

Salads and/or sandwiches usually comprise the available cold meals. Photo: Jas Verem/IRC.

Building on the IRC’s partnership with World Central Kitchen in New York, two sites were identified in Elizabeth to serve the high volume of IRC households and immigrant communities in the city. One site is managed by the City of Elizabeth and the other by the IRC, with each site distributing 2,150 meals per day, for a total of 4,300 daily meals in Elizabeth!

Food typically includes 1,000 cold meals per day, usually a sandwich or salad, and 1,000 microwave ready meals, like macaroni and cheese with chicken, rice, or vegetables.

Recipients are able to collect hot and cold meals for their whole household. Photo: Jas Verem/IRC.

Meals usually include a protein, starch, and vegetable. 150 halal meals are prepared by The Migrant Kitchen for distribution each day as well. Fruit, when available, is included in pickups. 

The IRC’s site is strengthened by IRC clients who have been hired to soften the economic blow of COVID-19 and strengthen language capacities at the food distribution site. As the site is active throughout the week, this team works closely to ensure safe preparation and distribution to recipients.

The IRC in NJ’s Education & Learning Supervisor, Jas Verem, has jumped in to work at the food distribution site. Individuals are able to pick up meals for their whole household, helping to minimize exposure risks while New Jersey continues to operate under stay at home orders. Jas has noted that client response is humbling, with staff and recipients alike grateful for this critical resource.

To support this incredible work, please click here.