Recognizing that food insecurity has become an immediate issue in the Bridgeton community, Gateway Community Action Partnership (Gateway) led this project to engage their next generation of community leaders in providing healthy meals to residents. With a particular focus on individuals who are experiencing homelessness, homebound seniors and low-income families, Gateway partnered with the Next GEN Leaders youth team to prepare nutritious meals at the Marino Center Kitchen and deliver them to the Riverwalk Senior Apartments and the Oakview Heights housing complex. In addition, the youth partnered in the operation of Grab and Go summer feeding sites and delivered meals to students and their families who do not have reliable transportation to visit a feeding site. Since the onset of the pandemic, the Next GEN Leaders have distributed more than 10,000 nutritious meals throughout their community. Gateway, the Next GEN Leaders and their community partners including the M25 initiative, the Bridgeton Public School District, Mill Creek Urban Farm and a number of houses of worship, have advanced existing efforts to address the needs of vulnerable households through this project, which could inform an equitable response and recovery throughout the state.
In March 2021, approximately one year after the onset of the pandemic, Gateway Community Action Partnership President and Chief Executive Officer Albert Kelly, who is also the Mayor of Bridgeton, recorded his reflections on the impact of their work. Scroll down to watch the video.
Vice President of Planning
Gateway Community Action Partnership President and Chief Executive Officer Albert Kelly, who is also the Mayor of Bridgeton, reflected on the impact of the Next GEN Leaders’ work in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.