La Casa de Don Pedro has been holding food distributions over the past two months, thanks to the generosity of our donors and the dedication of our staff.
In total, La Casa has distributed 1,047 supermarket gift cards valued at $100 each to hundreds of Newark’s most vulnerable families that have been hit hard by COVID-19. About half of these families come from La Casa’s preschool education program, who received $100 gift cards through the Newark Board of Education’s Early Childhood Program. La Casa purchased 500 additional $100 supermarket gift cards from funds raised through individuals who donated to our COVID-19 Response initiative, and 25 were donated directly from Brookdale Shoprite. These gift cards have been coupled with more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce and food staples donated from Table to Table and Goya.
One such food distribution occured on Thursday, May 7th at 23 Broadway. That day, La Casa’s Director of Youth, Family, and Health Services Edward Hernandez, along with his team, distributed food and gift cards to 140 Newarkers that were screened for need. Arriving with masks and practicing safe social distancing, they each received the $100 Shoprite gift card and approximately 50 pounds of fresh produce and food staples.
Mr. Hernandez and his staff took strict measures to ensure the safety and health of all those involved. All staff were issued face masks and rubber gloves and hand sanitizer was readily available for use. Social distancing markers were drawn on the ground outdoors to allow for 6 feet between each individual waiting in line and appointments were scheduled ahead of time to establish a safe and efficient flow of donations, which proved to be very successful.
Overall, the distribution ran smoothly and the recipients were extremely appreciative of the donations as well as the lengths staff went to in order to keep everyone safe. The staff assigned to this activity expressed their enthusiasm in being able to provide this service and all volunteered to do it again. As long as dollars are there, La Casa will continue to plan more food distributions throughout this spring and summer. To make a donation to support these efforts, please click HERE.