Team and staff to participate in the packing and distribution of fresh produce and essential food items to more than 1,500 Newark seniors and families.
Sky Blue FC players, staff, and several members of the Club supporters’ group Cloud 9 will be on-site Thursday, March 4 providing assistance to the Caresparc Consulting COVID-19 Emergency Response Food Distribution Effort in partnership with Table to Table, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School COVID-19 Team, and the Greater Newark Conservancy.
The volunteer outing is the first effort organized by the newly formed Sky Blue FC Player Community Outreach Committee. The Committee features nine Sky Blue players focused on enacting change and giving back to the community.
“We are so fortunate to have an incredible fanbase and community to play in front of at Red Bull Arena,” said defender Sabrina Flores. “As a team, we feel there is no better way to show our thanks than to give back to and support the underserved community around us. We are so excited to partner with the CareSparc, Table to Table, the Greater Newark Conservancy, and partners to help their COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort and package and deliver food to more than 1,500 senior residents and 600 families in the Newark, NJ area. As professional athletes, we are so much more than what we do on the field. Serving the community around us is a huge part of who we are and what we want to be part of.”
Each Thursday, while observing COVID-19 safety protocols, area volunteers gather at the Conservancy to pack the food into bags for delivery. The bags, filled with fresh vegetables, herbs, fruit, milk, meats, desserts, juice, and other items, are delivered to local seniors and families’ doorsteps.
“We started the COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort when the pandemic hit, transitioning from an earlier partnership with Table to Table, who supplies the food,” said Keith DaCosta, Managing Partner of CareSparc. “I want to thank Sky Blue FC for donating their time and support for our emergency food effort and for bringing greater awareness to food insecurity particularly with our senior community. Sky Blue FC is the first professional sports team to volunteer to help seniors and families participating in our program.”
Ilene Issacs, Executive Director of Table to Table said, “Ensuring that fresh, nutritious food we rescue makes it safely to the people in our community who need it most is paramount to the success of our program. I can think of no better way to accomplish this goal than with the assistance of dedicated, community-minded athletes who recognize the important role healthy eating plays in the well-being of our neighbors.”
Robin Dougherty, Executive Director of the Greater Newark Conservancy said, “We promote environmental stewardship to improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities. We achieve our mission through our inter-related program areas: Environmental Education, Community Greening & Urban Agriculture, Environmental Justice, and Job Training.”
“Sky Blue players have stated over the last year that they want to be a transformational part of their local neighborhoods,” said Sky Blue General Manager Alyse LaHue. “So to see this commitment turn to tangible action is tremendous.” Traditionally a volunteer effort with many local volunteers coming together, CareSparc is creating a bubble-style atmosphere at the Greater Newark Conservancy for Sky Blue FC to follow the Club’s strict COVID-19 protocols. Over 30 individuals from Sky Blue FC will be on-site to pack the food bags for those in the Newark area that need it the most. All individuals participating must receive a negative COVID-19 test and follow social distancing measures, including all Club COVID-19 safety protocols.