Our COVID-19 response

June 2020:  Sunday, June 13, 2020 marked the end of Phase One of RAP’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.  Over the course of 14 weeks from March 15 to June 13, including Ramadan, Passover and Easter, we and our partners provided food and other aid nonstop to refugee families experiencing food insecurity and other critical needs.

 

Thankfully, the call for this assistance has abated as families start to receive food stamp assistance, long-delayed unemployment checks, and in some instances, return to work.

What started as a response to just a handful of households in need eventually evolved into a full-scale initiative serving at its peak 122 families, representing 500 individuals, from infants to seniors, in 12 towns spread across Union, Middlesex and Essex counties.  

Thanks to the generous donations from dozens of individuals, houses of worship, and others along with the hard work of our members and our partners – IRC, Westfield Fun Club, One World One Love, and Cornerstone Counseling – we provided well over 2,000 bags and boxes of food, cleaning supplies, medicine, hygiene items, baby products and paper goods.

These included:

  • 280 loaves of bread

  • 2200 lbs. of fresh produce

  • 1000 lbs. of meat (fish, beef, and poultry)

  • 250 lbs. of rice

  • 150 gallons of milk

  • 200 dozen eggs

  • 90 lbs. of cheese

  • 200 lbs. of butter

  • 500 lbs. of beans

  • 60 lbs. of pasta

  • Misc. dry goods and other staples

  • Vitamins and medicine

  • Toilet paper and other paper products

  • Cleaners, soap, shampoo, detergent

While the food and safety crisis confronting our refugee families has eased, a new threat to their well-being and self-sufficiency is emerging. For many, the economic hardship caused by the pandemic prevented them from making rent payments for the past months and they now face the real possibility of homelessness when the New Jersey eviction moratorium is lifted.

RAP is committed to bridging the back-rent gap for families in need so that they can continue to build their lives and support their families.  Learn more about Phase II of our response to the COVID-19 crisis and join our efforts to always Choose Welcome.

Bags of food and essential supplies ready for delivery to 100 families.

Ann M. getting her curbside delivery. She lives alone and does not qualify for food stamps.  "big big foods! OH GOD BLESS YOU!" she texted in thanks.

Donation of bulk quantity of hand sanitizer.