Blue Onyx Cares is partnering with CUMAC to help those in need this Thanksgiving season. CUMAC is a non-profit organization committed to feeding people and changing lives in Paterson, Passaic County, and throughout New Jersey. During this time, CUMAC is working carefully and with perseverance. “We know our community depends on us and we are doing all that we can to keep our team healthy so that we can continue to serve our clients,” says by Bridget Galvin, Development Coordinator at CUMAC.
Throughout the US and around the world, there has been a food shortage affected by the pandemic. Many food banks struggled to stay open and positive during these tough months. CUMAC’s food rescue dropped from about 15,000 pounds to 9,000 pounds. “We adjusted by purchasing additional food from outside suppliers and local food producers such as City Green,” according to Galvin. CUMAC suffered from the shortage, but they did not stop serving. CUMAC maintained regular operating days and hours, and eventually expanded them to accommodate increased need. They strictly followed all health protocols and consulted with medical partners to ensure the safety of their staff and clients. All staff members wear masks and face shields, and practice social distancing while on site. To better protect those they served, they shifted from a Choice Marketplace to Grab and Go groceries before transitioning back to modified version of their Choice Marketplace in October.
They are working hard to help not only their clients but also other vulnerable populations. They have partnered with other organizations and were able to provide food boxes to about 20,000 additional people including foster families, patients being released from St. Joseph’s Hospital, WIC moms, and homebound clients throughout the summer and continuing into the fall.
CUMAC has had an increase in clients needing services during the pandemic. In April 2019, they served 2,384 people which has increased to 3,320 this year. In May 2019, they served 1,938 people which increased to 3,720 people this year. In June of 2019, they served 2,258 people which increased to 3,640 people in 2020. They have served 11,887 families in the community since June.
We at Blue Onyx are thrilled to be partnering with CUMAC this season. We are collecting shelf-stable and non-perishable foods. For more information, or to help contribute, please click here. We understand that during this time it has been a difficult struggle for everyone, but we want to personally thank those who are able to donate.