BY KATE ALBRIGHT AND JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
Volunteers at Toni’s Kitchen helped pack food for hundreds of children and their families on Saturday, March 21, during three shifts.
Over the last few weeks, volunteers have cooked over a thousand meals, packed several thousand food bags, and delivered food. Officials said social distancing has been strictly enforced, while meeting the needs of senior citizens who no longer have senior lunches to attend and students who are no longer receiving free or reduced meals at school. Toni’s Kitchen’s regular soup kitchen patrons are still receiving regular meals, but now prepared as take-out.
In partnership with Montclair and Bloomfield Public Schools, students from both districts are receiving food bags and fresh produce as they pick up their lunches.
A partnership with Montclair Senior Services, Toni’s Kitchen and the Kiwanis Club of Montclair has formed to provide several hundred seniors with meals, healthy staples and fresh produce delivered to their homes or senior buildings. Deliveries began last Tuesday and all buildings and senior residents had received groceries and meals by Friday.
The kitchen also proved pantry foods for students that had remained on campus at Bloomfield College.
In addition, residents have dropped off food donations and given financial support online.
“Your financial generosity is helping to cover the unprecedented need. As we move forward we continue to need you in the days ahead,” said Executive Director Anne Mernin.