After seeing the success of FLAG (Front Line Appreciation Group) in communities nationwide, Alex Cardona and Jennifer Melara set up FLAG of UC WNY NB to serve Union City, West New York and North Bergen.
“These are definitely difficult times for everyone and we believe it’s crucial for us to be able to work together and find some kind of relief for those who are fighting against this pandemic on our behalf,” said Cardona and Melara. “We started our chapter, Flag of Union City, West New York, North Bergen because we saw all the great things the other chapters were doing for the front line workers and we wanted to bring that help to the communities where we grew up that are in dire need of that help.”
Hudson County has been particularly hard hit by the impact of COVID-19, and the toll it’s taking on those in the fight is significant.
“One of the things we heard most from many of the front line workers was that they appreciated all of the food donations but were beginning to get inundated with fast food meals and wanted some healthier options. So we listened and focused on building relationships with restaurant vendors who offered healthier options. This way we could both better serve the front line but also bring business to many local restaurants struggling to stay open,” they said.
After getting a helping hand from Amy Frank Goldman of FLAG of Hoboken/Jersey City, the group has been able to raise $4,438 in donations and serve 487 healthy meals to the front line medical workers in the hospitals, urgent cares centers, and testing sites in their communities. The goal is to eventually be able to serve all front line workers—including the EMT’s, the police stations, firehouses, and nursing homes.
“In order to achieve our larger goal on a consistent basis, we need to increase or maintain a steady flow of donations,” said Cardona and Melara.” To that end, we’ve leveraged social media to bring about community involvement. Our Facebook and Instagram pages are growing daily as we show the communities how their donations are being used.”
To learn more, check out FLAG of UC WNY NB.