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Demand for food assistance in Bayonne ‘like never before,’ says Ashe-Nadrowski

The City Council President laid out the issue in a video address on May 6

City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski addressed Bayonne on May 6.

In an effort to keep the community informed from different angles during the pandemic, Mayor James Davis has been conducting weekly video updates with city officials. On May 6 Davis introduced City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski to address the community.

Davis has invited various law enforcement and other city agency leaders to speak on the status of their operations, including Chief of Operations at McCabe Ambulance Mike McCabe, Chief of Hospitalist Medicine at Bayonne Medical Center Dr. Vijay Singh, Police Chief Robert Geisler, and Fire Chief Keith Weaver.

Beforehand, Ashe-Nadrowski’s address, Davis reminded residents that street sweeping parking enforcement was reinstated on May 11 and urged residents to complete the 2020 census. He also said the city is close to getting back to normal but that social distancing must continue.

Davis praised Ashe-Nadrowski, noting that she has been a driving force on the front lines of pandemic, fighting for Bayonne residents.

Embrace family time

Ashe-Nadrowski offered her condolences to those affected by COVID-19 and thanked essential workers such as delivery workers, supermarket cashiers, and sanitation workers.

She acknowledged the virus has changed “the way we all live” and that everyone is patiently waiting to get back to the status quo. However, she encouraged residents to remain optimistic despite the situation.

“We should think about the positive side effects of the COVID-19 lock down,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “I know for me, I now cook for my family more often than I ever did, and we now sit down and have family dinner together.”

That hasn’t happened in her house since her children were young, something many residents can relate to during the stay-at-home order. She also checks in with her father more, and her children are checking more on her.

Ashe-Nadrowski applauded this greater sense of family occasioned by the stay-at-home order. She encouraged it to continue even when life gets back to the “new normal.”

The sense of family extends to neighbors and strangers who have been stepping up during the pandemic.

Bayonne has come together to help those hardest hit by the virus.

Feeding the hungry

Ashe-Nadrowski said she has been working with Hunger Free Bayonne, a local community-based food distribution initiative run by Stephanie Wilson, and the newly formed Bayonne Community Food Bank to make sure residents are fed.

Ashe-Nadrowski announced at the April 15 city council meeting that she was working with new Business Administrator Melissa Mathews to set up the community food bank.

Ashe-Nadrowski said that people who never needed food assistance before, people who are most at-risk for the virus, people who have lost their jobs but still await their unemployment checks, and other residents are desperately seeking food assistance from the city.

“Help is available,” she said.

The community food bank has begun distributing food at the Bayonne Museum on Broadway. There is no set date for distributions. Announcements are made sporadically on Mayor Davis’s and other official social media pages.

Hunger Free Bayonne operates in conjunction with the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF). The initiative has been feeding residents for the past three years through weekly food distributions at parking lots across the county.

According to Ashe-Nadrowski, the city also created Bayonne for Bayonne, a nonprofit that helps subsidize initiatives like Hunger Free Bayonne and others that support local residents.

Anyone in need of food assistance should the office of the City Council President at 201-858-6520 orsign up on the BEOF website at beof.org.

“If you know someone who is too proud to admit they need help, you can sign them up,” Ashe-Nadrowski said.

In closing, Ashe-Nadrowski asked residents to support local business by ordering from a local restaurant, trying a new one, or sticking to your reliable choice. Regardless, any support is vital to many small, local businesses fighting to stay afloat during the pandemic.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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