Uber Eats, New Jersey Natural Gas and Goya have each donated thousands of dollars of food to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uber Eats said Thursday it will donate 14,000 free meals to frontline health care workers and first responders throughout New Jersey.
The donation, worth $350,000, will go to doctors, nurses, and other health care workers at Cooper University Health Care, Hackensack Meridian Health, Holy Name Medical Center and RWJBarnabas Health.
Workers will receive a promo code they can use for a free meal up to $25 on the Uber Eats app or website. The meal pledge is part of Uber’s larger commitment to provide 10 million rides and food deliveries to health care workers, seniors and people in need.
New Jersey Natural Gas has made additional donations to food banks within its service territory, bringing its current total support to $125,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most of that – $100,000 – went to Fulfill, which serves Monmouth and Ocean counties. Interfaith Food Pantry, serving Morris County, received $25,000.
The $100,000 contribution to Fulfill will extend FulFill’s Restaurant Partnership Program, which benefits both distressed local businesses and food bank clients. Fulfill launched the program in mid-March in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help meet the demand for food as soup kitchens and other feeding programs were forced to close.
Restaurants prepare single meals for people in need, and Fulfill gives them a $5 per meal stipend.
“NJNG’s generous donation to Fulfill comes at a critical time for our community. The funds will help Fulfill’s Restaurant Partnership Program grow. Through this partnership, Fulfill and local restaurants are feeding nutritious meals to hungry children, seniors, veterans, and shut ins during one of the most challenging times in history,” said Fulfill Chief Executive Officer and President and former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in a prepared statement.
“At the same time, the partnership also helps to keep more of our neighbors ‘off the line’. By teaming up with restaurants, we help those small businesses keep the lights on, pay their rent and keep employees working longer,” Guadagno said.
More than two dozen area businesses benefit from the program, preparing meals for over 30 recipient organizations such as schools, shelters and nonprofits.
“[The program] has allowed us to keep our people working and be a part of a great cause. My staff and I are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be involved,” said Mike DeSimone of JR’s restaurant in Red Bank in a prepared statement. JR’s prepares meals for Belmar and Long Branch schools as part of the program.
“We are so grateful to Fulfill for helping us keep our employees working during this pandemic. Simultaneously, Fulfill gives us the opportunity to give back to those most in need at this uncertain time,” said Carolina and Brian Gualtieri, owners of Piccola Italia in Ocean Township in Monmouth County, which prepares meals for St. Brigid’s Soup Kitchen in Long Branch.
Goya Foods in Jersey City donated 200,000 pounds of food, equivalent to 170,000 meals to food banks, food pantries, health care workers, schools, and soup kitchens in New Jersey, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and Illinois.
In New Jersey, the donations were made directly to The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Secaucus Food Pantry, families of Cristo Rey High School in Newark, Jersey City Medical Center, The City of Jersey City for the Homeless, and Holy Name Hospital.