This is a press release from Essex County. Press releases are official statements that have not been independently verified.

(Updated with new dates and locations from county at 12/11.) Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders will present two special Emergency Food Distribution Events to help families negatively impacted by the Coronavirus. On Friday, December 18th, individuals will receive a case of water with their emergency food box. On Tuesday, December 22nd, individuals will receive a special holiday food box and a frozen turkey. The events are meant to benefit families who have been forced out of work and are not able to afford food.

They will be held as follows:

First Event:
Date: Friday, December 18, 2020
Time: 9 a.m.
Place: Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex
Essex County Codey Arena Commuter Parking Deck
560 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ

Second Event:
Date: Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Time: 9 a.m.
Place: Essex County Hall of Records Complex
Employee Parking Deck
50 West Market Street
Newark, NJ

It will be held RAIN or SHINE.

“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,” he said, adding that additional emergency food distribution events will be scheduled on a weekly basis.

“The Coronavirus Pandemic has negatively affected our communities in a multitude of ways. 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,” Gill said.

“The Essex County Emergency Food Distribution Event that took place in Branch Brook Park at the end of April 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,” Richardson said.

Essex County Branch Brook Park, Newark – Thursday, December 17th

Essex County is partnering with the Newark Water Association. In addition to receiving an emergency food box, individuals will receive a case of bottled water.

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 behind the Cherry Blossom 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 to not arrive to the site until 8 a.m. This is being done to allow for normal traffic flow through the area and prevent any traffic back-ups from being created.

The emergency food boxes contain enough food to provide about 40 meals. They consist of a variety of non-perishable 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. Residents driving or walking to the site will receive on food box and one case of water.

Essex County Weequahic Park – Tuesday, December 22nd

Residents will receive a frozen turkey and an emergency food box that contains food items served during a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Only one emergency food box will be placed into a vehicle’s trunk or given to each resident who walks to the site.

Residents driving to the site should enter the park via the Meeker Avenue entrance. Residents waiting to enter the park should line up along Meeker Avenue before turning right into the park. Left turns into the park from Meeker Avenue will not be permitted.

Residents walking to the site should come to Rev. Ronald Christian Sports Complex. A station will be set up adjacent to the parking lot on the western side of the football field. 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; the boxes weigh about 40 pounds.

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

Buses will not be allowed to enter.