Joe Malinconico Paterson Press

PATERSON – A city nonprofit group facing a huge pandemic-fueled increase in the demand for its food distribution services has been awarded $300,000 for its anti-hunger programs from the Chick-fil-A Foundation.

“This money will allow us to serve more people,” said Richard Williams, executive director of the St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation, the group getting the grant.

The money from Chick-fil-A will allow St. Paul’s to increase the amount of food it purchases for distribution, Williams said. The group also will use the funds to hire a driver for its food distribution pickups and deliveries and pay off the debt on the recently-purchased food van, Williams said.

The organization, based in the 4th Ward, has distributed more than 500,000 meals so far this year, Williams said. In 2019, the group handled 200,000 meals, he said.

In addition to the pantry at the group’s pantry on Van Houten Street, St. Paul’s also operates five pantries located within Paterson schools — John F. Kennedy High School, New Roberto Clemente Middle School and elementary schools numbers 4, 5 and 15.

This year’s Chick-fil-A True Inspiration program focused on nonprofit groups led by Blacks and that primarily service communities of color. Chick-fil-A made the awards to 34 groups in 18 states. Besides St. Paul’s, one other New Jersey organization was on the award list — Inspire Sports Camps in Maywood.

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