HEALTH

Westfield residents are feeding NJ’s frontline workers

BY Joanna Gagis, Producer/Correspondent |

Feed the Frontlines is supporting some health care providers in New Jersey. The national effort was adopted in Westfield by residents Steve and Michelle Voice.

“The local restaurants are suffering as well, so if we could raise money from the community and use that to purchase meals to be delivered to the hospitals, it kind of had two benefits,” said Stephen.

They started with a goal of raising $4,000.

“We’ve been blown away by the generous support of the community,” he said. “We passed $60,000 raised yesterday, which is just unbelievable. And we’ve been delivering every day, twice a day, for 21 days in a row now. So yeah, we’re completely blown away.”

Hershey’s Subs & Deli is one 31 restaurants participating.

“These doctors, and nurses, and first responders, and everybody are working around the clock — they have to eat and be strong and stay safe. And every little bit that we can do to help is, we’re going to do our job,” said Jerry Lipschitz, the deli’s co-owner.

On this day, they delivered to the Union County Public Safety building, Summit Medical Group’s Urgent Care Facility and Overlook Hospital. Lipschitz and co-owner Ryann Mann are happy to help, but also grateful for the financial support the program brings.

“Business has been down but we’ve been getting a lot of support from the local community. Everybody seems to be coming together,” said Mann.

Mayor Shelley Brindle says it’s just one of the ways the Westfield community is coming together and giving back. “We Love Local” is another effort that raised money for all types of small businesses. It caught the attention of resident and Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Reznick who performed a porch concert.

“I’m very proud to say that we raised over $200,000, have delivered grants to businesses, already checks in hand, for over 135 businesses in town,” Brindle said.

Outta Hand Pizza is one local business that’s definitely feeling the love.

“In the last few days we had to add some more, so we went out and we hired more people that are now temporarily out of work,” said owner Burim Regjag.

They payed it forward and donated 1,500 meals to those in need and contributed 250 meals to Feed the Frontlines.

“We just want to say thank you so much because we feel the support,” said Johanna Janice from Summit Medical Group Urgent Care.

This week they surpassed their goal of delivering 5,000 meals. So naturally they’ve set a new goal of delivering 10,000 meals to those working on the frontlines.