Elijah’s Promise, one of the area’s largest community soup kitchens, hasn’t missed a day of service since its inception 28 years ago. Even amidst this unprecedented pandemic, Elijah’s Promise is still fulfilling its promise to the hungry, keeping its doors open seven days a week.
The kitchen, at 18 Neilsen St. in New Brunswick, has seen a spike in individuals needing daily meals – from 150 to more than 300 – because of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Each person who comes to Elijah’s Promise still receives a hot to-go lunch and an additional bag meal.
People are relying on Elijah’s Promise now more than ever, according to Executive Director Michelle Wilson. Lunch is still served seven days a week, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Donations can be dropped off during those hours only.
“If you come to our door, we will help you,” Wilson added. “It’s a great honor to be serving people in need throughout the county.”
She added that many local restaurants that have had to shut their doors – such as The Frog and The Peach in New Brunswick – have been generous enough to donate fully prepared meals to the kitchen. Food Architects in Piscataway have also donated several meals to help those in need.
Without donations and the generosity of the community, it would be impossible for Elijah’s Promise to stay afloat during such uncertain times.
“To see small business owners close their own doors but still prepare food to donate is just unbelievable,” Wilson added. “We’ve always existed off of the generosity of this great community and we’re relying on them now more than ever.”
Corporations such as RWJ Barnabas Health and Johnson & Johnson have also done their part through monetary and hygiene kit donations.
“We’ve always seen hope and love in our kitchen and that hasn’t gone away during the pandemic,” Wilson said. “I am grateful and humbled by how organizations old and new are stepping us to help us.”
Elijah’s Promise recently spent more than $25,000 on emergency supplies including food, new freezers, and sanitation supplies.
One of the kitchen’s major challenges is recruiting volunteers. Even through natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, Elijah’s Promise still had a strong group of supportive people willing to pitch in. But, with health concerns, many are now begging off, with heartfelt apologies.
Without volunteers, Wilson and her staff are working tirelessly seven days a week to provide this essential service to some of the county’s most vulnerable residents.
How can you help? Consider donating. Elijah’s Promise is accepting monetary donations as well as premade snack bags and other food items.
Wilson reminds everyone that you can ensure that no one in Middlesex County goes hungry tonight. To donate, visit ElijahsPromise.org and follow them on Facebook at @ElijahsPromise for daily updates.