PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) – On an average day, this kitchen feeds about a thousand of Paterson’s women and children most in need.
“There is one mom and five children,” said youth social worker Janelle Torres. “Just recently, we actually heard that they were trying to get into the doors of a bank while it was closed to sleep inside the bank because they’re homeless.”
Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children serves them in many ways, especially through its kitchen and pantry. On Thursday, the city announced its partnership with DoorDash, which selected Paterson as one of 18 cities nationwide to receive $35,000 in gift cards over the next two years to fight food insecurity.
“We’re honored that local governments like yours are leveraging DoorDash to access the best of their communities while broadening food access for people that have experienced disasters or need a little bit of extra help in their day-to-day life,” said Ivan Garcia of DoorDash.
Oasis is one organization in Paterson that will dole out the $25 gift cards, which DoorDash said can be given in stacks to care for larger families.
“We are only open for a certain period of time,” said Oasis operations manager Paul Rebecca. “When a need strikes -it can strike at any time- people having that flexibility to have a little something to help them get through the night, get through the weekend when we’re not open until we can actually step in and assist their needs and help them that way, I think will be a very, very good initiative.”
Even with the help of gift cards, food insecurity doesn’t take a day off. That’s why Oasis always accepts money donations, shelf-stable food and your time.
“We have a real heart for this community,” said Oasis executive director Jennifer Brady. “We have a real heart for the women who come to us because they want to better their lives and they want a better future for their children, and of course, we just love the kids who are living in conditions less than stellar simply by virtue of the zip code they were born in.”