Photo from Eva’s Village Facebook Page
On Tuesday, March 17, Eva’s Village began handing out hundreds of freshly-prepared meals “to-go” twice each day to continue 38 years of uninterrupted service to North Jersey residents who are unemployed, underemployed, or homeless. Under normal conditions, Eva’s Community Kitchen feeds more than 400 guests each day, 365 days a year, serving breakfast on weekdays and lunch seven days a week.
Eva’s Village has been planning for six weeks for the possibility of a Coronavirus pandemic, and their emergency response team has set up new procedures to ensure people in the community who need food get meals.
“We’ve been feeding the hungry in Paterson since 1982, and we plan to continue to do that,” said Chief Executive Officer Dan Renaldo. “This Community Kitchen is the heart of our Village and a safe haven for many of our community members. Though for the time being people cannot come in and sit down for a meal, they can still get freshly-prepared food for themselves and their families.”
The organization has stocked up on supplies to sustain their food program, as well as other necessary items to provide care for 300+ residents in their shelters and Halfway Houses throughout this COVID-19 outbreak, but is in need of donations to sustain their operations during this particularly challenging time.
On weekdays, guests can expect to receive the same kinds of nutritious hot meals they are used to eating in Eva’s Community Kitchen, including an entree with two side dishes. Extra food will be given out on Fridays to ensure people have food that will carry them through the weekends.
“This is a big change, and we know this may be a difficult adjustment for our neighbors who rely on us. We’ve explained to them that this is all being done to protect their health and safety,” said Donna Fico, Executive Vice President of Supportive Services.
The change in meal distribution, intended to minimize spread of the coronavirus, follows the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation on March 15 to cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
Across the organization, programs for addiction treatment and recovery support have also been modified to continue services wherever possible, while also protecting the wellness of residents, clients, and community members. For program information, please see Eva’s Village website. Eva’s Community Kitchen will continue to provide three meals a day for the 300+ men, women, and children who reside in emergency shelters and Halfway Houses at Eva’s Village.
Eva’s Village raises funds through annual events that provide sustaining support for their Community Kitchen, as well as their shelters, addiction treatment, and recovery support programs, childcare and other supportive services, and their Culinary School; but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at least three upcoming events have been postponed.
“Postponing our spring fundraising events is the right thing to do to ensure the safety of our community, but it will stretch our resources very thin. Together, we expected these events to bring in several hundred thousand dollars. We understand that everybody is struggling during this time, and that these are uncharted waters for so many people. But we have truly never needed support more, and at this time, even a small gift makes a big impact,” said Eva’s Executive Vice President of Development and External Relations, Heather Thompson. Eva’s is accepting on-line donations here.
Other urgent needs include: Bar soap, gift cards to BJ’s, Costco, and ShopRite, and large boxes of tissues.
Items can be dropped off Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at our main office at 393 Main St., Paterson. Items can also be ordered directly from Amazon and shipped to: Attn: Curtis Carson, Eva’s Village 393 Main St., Paterson, NJ 07501.
More about Eva’s Village
Founded as a soup kitchen in 1982, Eva’s Village began by serving 30 meals a day to feed the hungry in Paterson. In response to related issues of poverty, addiction, mental illness, and homelessness, programs and services grew out of the original soup kitchen to address these needs. Today Eva’s Community Kitchen serves nearly 500,000 meals each year and offers an integrated range of residential, outpatient, social service, and outreach programs to help those in need move toward stability and independence.