Union County saves Thanksgiving with walk-up and drive-up food distribution event


by Jordynn Blackwell

The Union County Freeholder Board held a coronavirus relief food distribution event on Nov.  14, in Scotch Plains and Plainfield. Individuals had the option to either walk-up to receive their food boxes at Gerald. B. Plaza in Plainfield, or drive-up, which took place at the Union County Vocational-Technical School in Scotch Plains. Food boxes were given first-come, first-serve to those who arrived. The purpose of this event was to provide families in Union County with meals as Thanksgiving day is just around the corner.

“In these very trying times with COVID and Union County residents having a hard time with unemployment and food insecurity,” Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella said. “Union County decided to use Federal CARES dollars to help people in the County with food insecurity. The food drives have been occurring weekly in various places around the County at Kean University, Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield and the Vocational schools in Scotch Plains.”

As the holiday season approaches, it is a special time to give back to those who are in need, especially in the vastly changing world we live in. The coronavirus pandemic has left families across the country and particularly those in Union County facing the aftermath of the failing economy. 
As of yesterday, 24,912 Union County residents were diagnosed as COVID Positive,”  Mirabella said.Unfortunately, 1,237 UC residents have died.” 

There is no doubt that Thanksgiving will be different compared to the ones in years past as coronavirus cases continue to rise. However, events like food drives and distributions give relief to those who are less fortunate during these trying times.

“I believe that now more than ever is a great time to give back to the community,” one Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School junior said. “More people are struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Millions have lost their jobs and just aren’t making as much of an income as before COVID-19. 

With this, clubs such as Students Concerned for the Needy could be considered essential for high school students in order to give back and support the community of Scotch Plains and beyond.

“SCN is always encouraging students to join and participate,” club leader Grace Rehrer said. “Our projects are always about giving back to the community and we really try to help others in need. It would be great to have students be required to do this club because the more contribution means the more people are positively affected.”