Amazon.com Inc.’s local facilities unexpectedly donated $100,000 to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, according to the charity.
The organization said the cash contribution would help provide 300,000 meals to individuals and families in 16 counties who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The need generated by the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, taking a greater toll than anything that the FoodBank has seen in its 45-year history,” said Carlos Rodriguez, the group’s president and chief chief executive officer, in a statement. “But it’s still no match for the unwavering resolve of people in our communities and supporters like Amazon, whose generous donation will go a long way as we work to help more of our neighbors, especially those who are struggling for the first time in their lives.”
The FoodBank said 12 Amazon fulfillment and sorting centers along with four delivery stations came together to make the donation. The facilities are located in Avenel, Bellmawr, Carteret, Cranbury, Edison, Elizabeth, Florence, Logan Township, Mahwah, Moonachie, Robbinsville, Swedesboro, Teterboro and West Deptford.
“Amazon has had roots in New Jersey for many years, and we believe it’s our duty to support the community especially during these unprecedented times,” said Robert Long, director of regional operations for Amazon’s New Jersey fulfillment centers.
Elsewhere, Hamilton-based First Bank said it gave $30,500 to 15 nonprofit organizations providing pandemic relief.
“There are many people sacrificing on the frontlines today,” said First Bank President and CEO Patrick Ryan. “From health care systems that heal and police departments that protect to nonprofits that serve, we support them. No matter the crisis, we are in this together.”
The groups receiving First Bank’s largesse are the Rescue Mission of Trenton; West Chester University in Pennsylvania; The Decency Foundation in Hopewell; the Trenton YMCA; the Hopewell Valley YMCA; the Foundations Community Partnership in Doylestown, Pa.; the Mount Carmel Guild in Trenton; the Catholic Youth Organization in Trenton; Good Counsel Homes in Riverside; Project Paul in Keansburg; nourish.NJ in Morristown; the 200 Club of Morris County in Succasunna; the RWJ Hospital Hamilton Foundation; the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey in Cherry Hill and the Boys & Girls Club of Mercer County in Trenton.
“Many people may not be aware that all our Catholic social service agencies are open and serving those in need while also making adjustments for social distancing,” said Brenda Rascher, executive director of Catholic Social Services at the Diocese of Trenton, in a statement. “The four agencies that received First Bank’s donations are all not only serving an increasing number of families at their food pantries, but their usual sources of financial support and food donations have been interrupted or even stopped completely.”
Also on the food front, Frappe Joe Coffee and Brooklyn Boys Pizza & Deli – tenants of Weiss Realty’s Colonial Village Shoppes in Edison – are providing free meals, drinks and snacks to health care workers at nearby JFK Medical Center and members of the Edison police and fire departments.
The donations are being supported by contributions from the community, Weiss Realty and the Share & Care Foundation.
“We have served over 2,600 meals to our health care heroes on the frontlines,” said Shetal Shah, owner of the Frappe Joe. “In total we have raised over $20,000 and will have delivered 3,400 meals by the time we are done.”
Brooklyn Boys donated more than 300 pizzas and 12o sandwiches along with masks and gloves to Edison police and firefighters. April. “We donated everything we could before shutting down for a month,” said co-owner Benny Kica.
And the New Jersey Hospital Association is working with Frontline Foods to keep health workers nourished.
Frontline Foods chapters use donations to buy food from local restaurants, allowing them to keep their kitchens open. In April, the partnership began serving workers at Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel; Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus; Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital; in New Brunswick; St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson; and Jersey City Medical Center.
“NJHA’s collaboration with Frontline Foods gets to the very heart of community partnerships to promote health and well-being,” said Cathy Bennett, the association’s president and CEO, in a statement. “It combines the vital importance of health care services with food access and employment – all social determinants of health that are part of our mission to improve the health of the people of New Jersey.”
This article was updated at 8:50 a.m. EDT on May 20, 2020 to add four delivery stations to the list of Amazon facilities participating in the fundraising effort.