Funds will be used to support COVID-19 emergency food and housing relief efforts for families and individuals in northern New Jersey

Englewood, NJ (May 19, 2020) – Center for Food Action (CFA) is pleased to announce a $400,000 charitable contribution from the Oritani Charitable Foundation along with a personal gift of $100,000 from longtime supporter and Oritani Charitable Foundation Chair, Kevin Lynch, to help purchase and distribute food and to provide housing assistance to households impacted by COVID-19.

“Each week we distribute emergency food packages to approximately 1,200 households in the communities we serve,” said Patricia Espy, Executive Director of Center for Food Action. “This gift will enable us to help thousands of households with food and provide emergency housing and utility assistance to those residents who find themselves out of work, without benefits or otherwise impacted by this pandemic.”

Oritani Bank and the Oritani Charitable Foundation had been supporters of CFA and numerous local charities for many years. In 2019, Oritani Bank was acquired by Valley Bank. The Oritani Charitable Foundation will continue with administrative support from Valley Bank where Mr. Lynch is a member of the Board of Directors.   Mr. Lynch stated “CFA has ramped up its efforts to support those in need in this time of crisis. Many people who have suddenly become unemployed are struggling to feed their families and to keep them in decent housing. We are glad to help CFA and confident that CFA will put this donation to work promptly and effectively “.

Center for Food Action is witnessing a dramatic increase in food assistance requests as more residents are out of work because of businesses closing due to the Coronavirus.  Each week over twelve hundred emergency food packages are distributed through appointment-only, drive-through pickups at CFA’s five area pantries and by home delivery to those who cannot get to CFA due to age, disability weakened immune system or quarantine.  As an essential business, Center for Food Action has implemented new appointment-only, drive-up distribution practices to adhere to social distancing policies.