September 12, 2020, East Orange, NJ: The City of East Orange held its second food distribution event in partnership with the Livingston Lions Club and Chad Yagodich of Seashore Fruit and Produce Company to provide a total of over 77,000 pounds of pre-packaged fresh produce to families at the East Orange Senior Center located at 90 Halsted Street.
The Livingston Lions Club is part of Lions Clubs International, which is comprised of more than 1.4 million members, serves over 200 countries and regions around the world. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, many families have experienced tremendous hardship and relied upon charitable organizations such as the Livingston Lions Club to help meet their basic sustenance needs.
“The COVID-19 Pandemic has made it clear that we all need extra help and extra resources to ensure that we fill the hunger gap in our communities,” said Mayor Ted R. Green. “I am extremely grateful to the Livingston Lions Club for joining our growing network of partners who have helped supply food to those most in need. I personally applaud their efforts to extend a helping hand beyond Livingston and into our city.”
Nalit Patel, District Governor of New Jersey International Association of Lions Clubs 16-N, said giving back to East Orange is simply following the Lion’s call for members to roll up their sleeves and take action to make communities better.
“Life will throw curve balls at you,” said Patel. “Fresh activities are the only means of overcoming adversity. I’d rather live like a lion for a day than a sheep for the rest of my life.”
Patel, along with his core team comprised of Kamlesh Patel, President of the Livingston Lions Club and 2nd Vice District Governor of New Jersey International Association of Lions Clubs District 16-N. Livingston Lions Club members and key project volunteers Vineeta Khana, Dr. Bansi Patel, and Saba Khan, were integral part in collaborating with the Division of Senior Services under the management of Rita Butts to conduct two of the single largest food distributions in the city during the pandemic.
Since the start of the public health crisis, East Orange has been operating weekly food events on the north and south side of town. This includes a partnership between the Office of Emergency Management, the East Orange YMCA and Seashore Food Distributors, which services an average of more than 400 families each week. Every Wednesday, approximately 440 boxes containing 15 to 20 pounds of food is distributed to residents. In addition, the Division of Senior Services provides food weekly to over 6,000 households through its Friday and Saturday morning distribution events.
To maintain current social distancing practices, the city has created a systematic process by which residents have the option to either walk-up or drive-through. Residents that choose to pick up their boxes by drive-through will be directed to an access point at which time their box will be placed in the trunk of their car while they remain inside of the car. Food is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis with only one package per car.
For more information or to partner with the city on a food distribution event, please contact the Division of Senior Services at 973.266.8832.