Despite COVID-19 and social-distancing requirements, volunteers at the Hoboken Shelter, St. Matthew Trinity, and Hoboken Food Pantry are feeding those in need with the support of the community.
Last week volunteers at All Saint’s Episcopal Day School collected 88 dozen hard-boiled eggs and 60 warm blankets for St. Matthew Lunchtime Ministry, while local restaurants like Halifax donated food to the Hoboken Shelter. Members of the United Synagogue of Hoboken made ten masks for shelter volunteers.
Next week, the Hoboken Food Pantry will provide for more than 45 families in need through its new expanded service after acquiring over 2,000 pounds of food from the Community FoodBank of NJ.
“These are scary times for all of us, but especially for our guests who don’t have homes of their own,” said Executive Director of the Hoboken Shelter Jaclyn Cherubini.
She said the shelter is still actively feeding and sheltering those in need, but they are taking precautionary steps to help keep volunteers and guests safe from the coronavirus.
“We have implemented additional precautionary changes to our soup kitchen services, primarily with social distancing during meals service,” Cherubini said.
Under the new requirements guests are now seated three at a table instead of six at a table. To serve more than 500 meals a day, meals are staggered. Instead of serving 100 people at one time, the shelter serves 33 people at a time.
She said meals have been changed to consist of sandwiches, fruit, granola bars, and a snack pack, instead of a hot meal.
The new system she said has put a burden on staff who are working “nonstop” trying to help those in need.
She said the shelter is working to help ensure that social distancing also occurs outside the facility.
“To help us monitor and maintain social distancing, Hoboken OEM put yellow lines every seven feet on the sidewalk, so we can make sure no one lines up without six feet between them,” Cherubini said.
The shelter is accommodating 50 people overnight who are without a home or place to stay.
She said the shelter is looking for volunteers and donations but but is also looking to help struggling small businesses.
To that end, the shelter is looking for community members to not only make and donate sandwiches but to purchase sandwich donations from local restaurants.
She said the shelter is in need of coffee, cleaning supplies like Lysol wipes, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, bars of soap, and laundry detergent.
The shelter also has an Amazon wish list where people can purchase supplies and have them shipped directly to the shelter. It can be found at http://a.co/9Vucyn1.
The shelter also needs monetary donations to help purchase supplies because its April fundraiser was cancelled due to COVID-19.
To donate, go to https://hobokenshelter.org/donating-to-the-shelter/ Donations can also be made via PayPal, or by texting GIVE to 201-733-4196.
Hoboken Food Pantry
For many who are worried about the virus, other concerns mount such as unemployment, reduced hours, or a smaller paycheck. With that also comes food insecurity.
For the past two weeks, Council members Tiffanie Fisher, Ruben Ramos, and Vanessa Falco have worked with the Hoboken Community Center’s Toni Tomarazzo to expand the center’s food pantry.
With help from the Bhalla administration, Hoboken’s OEM, and Hoboken CERT teams, the expanded Hoboken Food Pantry was relaunched on Wednesday.
With donations received, the food pantry will have more than 2,000 pounds of food from the Community FoodBank of NJ by next week.
According to Fisher, requests from 45 families for food have already been received.
To volunteer, call 555-285-6444 or email HobokenFoodNow@gmail.com.
To donate nonperishable foods, go to hobokencc.org/wishlist or the pantry section of any other online retailer/grocer. No in-person contributions are currently being accepted.
To donate, go to hobokencc.org/donate.
If you are in need of food, call 555-265-6555 or email HobokenFoodNow@gmail.com to receive confidential support and request a food delivery.
“Let’s make sure no one goes hungry in Hoboken,” Fisher. said
People in search of a meal can get one at Eighth and Washington Streets at the Lunchtime Ministry at St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church.
Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the parish hall to-go meals are provided to roughly 50 people a day.
Currently, the Lunchtime Ministry is not seeking volunteers, but donations are appreciated and can be dropped off during the above hours only. They are in need of socks and bagged lunches.
To purchase needed items from its Amazon wish list go to https://www.amazon.com/…/32YGAW4XW…/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.