Newark Mayor Ras Baraka gives away turkeys at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center (271518)
Credit: City of Newark photo/Flickr

The cast of the Starz series “Power” joined Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and the Believe in Newark Foundation to distribute more than 6,000 turkeys to residents Monday at the John F. Kennedy Recreation Center. 
Newark officials said they were grateful for the generous support this year from sponsor Goya Foods, who supplied 3,000 pounds of assorted products. Hellofresh supplied vegetables to feed 2,500 families, the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company donated 3,000 cans of Pepsi Cola, the Ocean Spray Corporation gave 2,000 cans of assorted cranberry sauce and Sylvia’s supplied 1,500 assorted products. Residents from each of the city’s five wards pre-registered to receive their free turkey in time for Thanksgiving.

According to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, more than 900,000 food insecure New Jerseyans may not have the joy of a traditional Thanksgiving meal to share with their families this year. FoodBank staff, volunteers and partner agencies collected holiday food items at nearly 50 sites across the state last Saturday and Sunday. Last year, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey gathered nearly 50,000 pounds of food and 9,200 turkeys.

To help remedy New Jersey’s hunger problem, State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announced the introduction of an anti-hunger bill package that addresses food insecurity and tackles the issue of hunger in New Jersey.

The bills specifically address the reduction of food waste and food deserts, helping farmers, the provision of resources and information to the general public and food insecurity among students enrolled in public institutions.

“Too many residents in the state of New Jersey go to bed without a meal every night—one out of every eight residents to be exact,” said Coughlin. “No family should have to choose between paying their bills and eating a nutritious meal. The bills introduced will help steer us in the direction of reducing food waste, donating food to markets in need and combating food insecurity.”

Among the bills in the package are the Hunger-Free Campus Act, which requires the secretary of Higher Education to establish grant programs to address food insecurity among students enrolled in public institutions of higher education and the Food Desert Elimination Act, which provides incentives to supermarkets and grocery stores that locate in food deserts.