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

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the Essex County Board of County Commissioners will present two special Thanksgiving Emergency Food Distribution Events to help families negatively impacted by the Coronavirus. There will be 1,500 frozen turkeys and boxes of non-perishable food distributed at each event. The program is meant to benefit families who have been forced out of work and are not able to afford food.

The Thanksgiving Emergency Food Distributions will be held as follows:

Event #1:
Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Time: 9 a.m.
Place: Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex
Essex County Codey Arena
560 Northfield Avenue
West Orange, NJ

Event #2:
Date: Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Time: 9 a.m.
Place: Essex County Branch Brook Park
Cherry Blossom Welcome Center
Enter via Heller Parkway
Newark, NJ

They will be held RAIN or SHINE.

“The Coronavirus exacerbated an existing food insecurity problem experienced by many of our residents. We are pleased to present this special Thanksgiving Emergency Food Distribution Event for those who are in dire need and to make sure all our families have something to be thankful for this year,” DiVincenzo said. “The Coronavirus has created uncertainty and unforeseen challenges for us all. We hope this emergency food distribution helps those families who continue to struggle,” he said.

“Unfortunately, food insecurity remains an issue that many Essex County residents continue to face. Our weekly food distribution events were very successful in providing relief during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic through the Spring of 2021, and I applaud the County Executive and our County leadership for taking the steps to coordinate two distribution events for our residents in need prior to Thanksgiving,” Commissioner President Wayne Richardson said.

“As leaders in County government, we will continue working diligently to provide critical services to our residents in need. The upcoming food distribution events prior to Thanksgiving will offer relief to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. I commend County Executive DiVincenzo and our partners in the community who have assisted in the coordination of these events,” Commissioner Vice President Carlos Pomares said.

Event #1: Thursday, November 18th at Essex County Codey Arena

Residents driving to Codey Arena should use the western entrance to the parking lot that is across the street from the BP gasoline station. Left turns from Northfield Avenue into the parking lot will not be allowed. Residents waiting to enter the site should line up along Cherry Lane before turning right onto Northfield Avenue.

Residents walking to the site should come to the eastern end of the commuter parking deck. 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.

Event #2: Tuesday, November 23rd in Essex County Branch Brook Park

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 in the Cherry Blossom Center parking lot. 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.

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.

Buses will not be allowed to enter.