Hudson Regional Hospital distributes Thanksgiving dinners

Second Annual Operation Give Thanks answers a need

The food distribution was contactless.
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The food distribution was contactless.

More than 200 families received turkey dinners and fixings from Hudson Regional Hospital (HRH) on Nov. 23.

The distribution is part of its Second Annual Operation Give Thanks. Operation Give Thanks is an alliance among HRH, the town of Secaucus, and the Secaucus Rotary Club.

The alliance aims to ensure that all local families in need can celebrate Thanksgiving.

This year’s Thanksgiving dinner distribution was held in a drive-thru setting to comply with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) social distancing guidelines. Drivers popped their trunks to receive a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and canned green beans and yams.

The hospital provided free turkeys to 200 staff members.

Vital food assistance

Mayor Michael Gonnelli was onsite to help with the food distribution.

“Having a hospital as our partner is awesome,” Gonnelli said. “This is second year they’ve done this. Last year we did the same amount of turkeys.” 

Major contributors include the federal government, the county, the town, and HRH, Gonnelli said.

The need for food assistance has increased across the county due to financial hardships caused by the pandemic. Now through after Thanksgiving, Gonnelli said there will continue to be an increased demand for food drives. 

“This year has been a hell of a year, and we’re trying to do the best we can possibly do,” Gonnelli said. 

According to Gonnelli, the town has been holding food drives almost every week because of the number of people who are out of work and need assistance acquiring groceries. 

Secaucus residents are also donating food. 

Officials are at the Community Center, 145 Front St. to receive food donations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Gonnelli said he has been getting daily calls about people in need, people out of work, and or people in need of COVID-19 tests. 

“The COVID numbers are going up every day,” Gonnelli said. “We pray for a vaccine.” 

Secaucus has witnessed an uptick in cases in recent weeks. As of Nov. 23, there were 1,037 cases and 50 deaths.

Get tested

HRH and Secaucus have been addressing the healthcare needs of the community since new ownership took over the facility at 55 Meadowlands Parkway in 2018.

The hospital is home to the drive-thru program that has tested thousands of Hudson County residents and essential workers since March.

Testing is available to all Hudson County residents at the hospital on Mondays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays from 9 to 10:30 a.m.; and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Call for an appointment at 201-388-1097 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Residents must be at least five years old for COVID-19 and antibody tests; six months old for flu vaccines. Results are emailed within 24 hours.

For more information about Hudson Regional Hospital, visit www.hudsonregionalhospital.com or call (201) 392-3100.

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.