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Community groups set up outdoor food pantries to help hungry Newark residents

Local organizations are finding innovative ways to tackle hunger amid ongoing inflation.

News 12 Staff

Sep 22, 2022, 2:21 AM

Updated 631 days ago

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Local organizations are finding innovative ways to tackle hunger amid ongoing inflation.
The United Community Corporation just put out its fourth community refrigerator in Newark. It is filled with food items from all the basic food groups. As the cost of necessities like food continues to rise, the group says these outdoor pantries are necessary.
La Casa de Don Pedro on Broadway in Newark is the newest location for a community fridge. When it was first installed, the initial plan was to fill it every other day. But because of the immense need in the community, organizers say this is the third time it is being stocked in four days. That schedule will likely change.
“We're going to be putting this on a delivery schedule of probably once a day for six days out of the week and we've asked the community to help us identify when the fridge and pantry are empty,” says Craig Mainor, with United Community Corporation.
Organizations like United Community Corporation and La Casa de Don Pedro are partnering up to combat food insecurity in Black and brown neighborhoods amid inflation. They say in the communities they serve price hikes on necessities are more impactful than they are in affluent communities.
“The impact of inflation is just compounding the inequities that are in communities of color that we have to address, and that our residents overcome every day,” says Peter Rosario, of La Casa de Don Pedro. “The dynamic in black and brown communities is really about fundamental basic choices.”
“The federal reserve announced another hike in interest rates on Wednesday. It saw a three-quarter-point increase, in an attempt to fight inflation. And as price hikes are becoming wider reaching it is forcing New Jersey residents to tighten their purse strings and use resources like community refrigerators.
“Everybody in the neighborhood comes and takes something like bread, beef…something like that,” says Newark resident Willy.
“All the prices have gone sky-high. Eggs went up 40%, bread went up 15% and it’s just a little rough,” says Darrol Lopez, of Newark.
New Jersey’s traditional food pantries are also seeing an increased need.
This is the fifth time the fed has raised the short-term federal funds rate this year.


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