June 18, 2024
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Fighting Hunger During Quarantine: A Community Effort in Englewood

Challenging times can bring out the best in a community, and Englewood residents and businesses have risen to the task to support our first responders, healthcare workers and our neighbors who may be struggling during these difficult times. Many exceptional organizations have teamed up to try to ensure that no one in our city goes hungry due to financial troubles or difficulties in getting around safely with quarantine restrictions.

Our churches, synagogues, mosques and schools are constant pillars of our community, and during this time of crisis, have led efforts to provide personal safety and sanitary supplies as well as food and other necessities to our most vulnerable. One such ongoing effort is The Moriah School’s “50 Meals for 50 Days” project, benefiting senior citizens in Englewood public housing. Experiences like this help mold our youth into caring and compassionate adults, and I would like to thank everyone at the Moriah School as well as at the Englewood Housing Authority for their hard work and generosity in making this happen.

Feeding hungry people is not always as easy as it sounds, especially when setting up operations in new areas under difficult conditions. Fortunately, several seasoned non-profit organizations have stepped up and lent their expertise to the logistics of organizing volunteers and procuring and distributing food to those in need. Family Promise of Bergen County, which operates regularly in Hackensack to provide 100-150 meals a day for people in need, has teamed up with the World Central Kitchen, which specializes in post-disaster food relief, to purchase meals from Englewood businesses which are then distributed from St. Cecilia’s Church to anyone in need. This type of selfless, collaborative effort has helped to streamline getting meals to those who need them while also supporting local businesses.

These are just a few examples of the communal spirit that makes Englewood such a special place to live. First Lady of New Jersey Tammy Murphy even visited us to help staff from the Center for Food Action and volunteers (including our own Assemblyman Gordon Johnson) provide food assistance to residents in need. In a tremendous case of corporate citizenship, our Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Bergen Family Center and the owners of Playa Bowls to help provide fresh fruit to the needy during this time when their nutritious food options might be limited. Thank you to all of these dedicated friends of our community for their ongoing efforts.

Please, if you are in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out. These organizations understand what you’re going through and are here to help. If you know of others who may need help, please spread the word. Finally, if you are able, please consider donating to or volunteering with these or other charitable organizations to help our community. Englewood is a strong city full of resilient people, and I know that we will get through this together.


Michael Wildes is the mayor of Englewood, New Jersey and the author “Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door.” He is a former federal prosecutor and an adjunct professor of immigration law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

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