In Atlantic City, the casinos are open for limited service, bringing back about a third of the workers laid off in the spring. That’s good news. But not far from the Boardwalk, many thousands more laid-off casino industry workers and Atlantic City residents visited a union-sponsored food distribution Thursday, July 23, 2020, because food insecurity is still huge.
Operation Feed Atlantic City July 23, 2020
“It warms my heart to see these brothers and sisters volunteering here again and again,” said Charles Wowkanech, President of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. “So many familiar faces. It’s been an honor getting to know them.
“They’re here giving their brothers and sisters and the entire community a hand up, not a handout,” Wowkanech continued, “and even though they’re wearing masks, everyone can tell they’re smiling every time they put groceries in somebody’s trunk.”
The distributions started in late spring after the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic pulled the plug on New Jersey’s – and America’s – economy. They have continued because thousands are still unemployed, and federal supplemental unemployment insurance benefits expire July 31.
“These are our brothers and sisters, our neighbors,” Wowkanech said. “Mitch McConnell and his gang in the Senate who have been blocking the HEROES Act for 69 days need to see their faces and hear what’s happening in their lives. They are why we need the HEROES Act passed.”
Union members from IATSE Locals 917 and 77, IUOE Local 68 and UNITE-HERE Local 54 donated their day, their strong arms and their sharp organizational skills to make the distribution of 2,250 meal kits run like clockwork.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO expresses our deepest thanks to our union brothers and sisters and their families for their hard work and continuing solidarity on Thursday. Our labor values are uplifting working families every day.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO also expresses our gratitude to our donors, who make it possible to continue these union-led food distributions. We want our brothers and sisters to know we are there for them as long as the need remains, so in the spirit of solidarity, please be generous.
Please make checks payable to our 501(c)(3) account.
New Jersey State AFL-CIO Community Services Agency Inc.
106 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608