California nonprofit group teams with Newark to provide clean water to residents
A grassroots community group is doing its part to make sure Newark residents have clean water to drink as the city continues to replace lead waterlines.
A water box has been installed inside the St. Stephen’s Grace Community Church in the Ironbound section of the city. The California-based nonprofit group 501CThree donated the box to the Newark Water Coalition.
The coalition has been around for two years and has mostly been distributing bottled water to those Newark residents in need. The pandemic shut down a lot of its delivery options and donations of bottled water were harder to come by.
“For me, it’s a game-changer for the way that we do distribution. This is launching so many other projects,” says Newark Water Coalition co-founder Anthony Diaz. “The water coalition works with mutual aid groups - to provide reoccurring deliveries of water around the region - not just Newark. Also want to reuse jugs and give to house-less community because they aren’t being reached.”
501CThree was started by actor Jaden Smith - the son of Will Smith. It's already given a bunch of the boxes to groups in Flint, Michigan.
The Newark Water Coalition states that it would like to get one of the water boxes in each ward in Newark. Coalition volunteers will treat and test the water whenever they use the system. There is no limit to how much water can be given out. 501CThree will pay the church's water bill for the first year it's there. Currently, residents can go to St. Stephen’s from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays to get the water, no questions asked.