Program in Newark helps restaurants survive while serving local communities

Newark Working Kitchens pays restaurants to stay open in return for delivering meals to low-income seniors and families

At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, restaurants across the state faced a grim decision: Lay off staff and find a way to to stay afloat through minimal takeout orders, or shut down entirely. In response to the crisis, Newark Working Kitchens was born. It’s a free meal delivery service paid for by corporate donors and government subsidies that has helped keep local restaurants alive and hungry people fed. Because of it, 24 restaurants have stayed open; in return, they have delivered meals to low-income seniors and families.

Aisha Glover, vice president of urban innovation for Audible’s global center for urban development, which launched and funded the program, says there is enough funding for the program to run through the end of 2020 and Audible’s goal is to raise additional millions to sustain it through 2021. Correspondent Raven Santana reports as part of our ongoing series, Hunger in NJ.

This post has been updated to accurately state Audible’s fundraising goals for Newark Working Kitchens.

Support for “Hunger in NJ” has been provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.