By GABRIELLA DRAGONE
PATERSON, NJ – Eva’s Village put on their “Big Blue” spirit as Giants legend and Paterson native Victor Cruz volunteered at the community kitchen on Friday.
The event was a continuation of a longtime charitable partnership Eva’s Village enjoys with the New York Giants and included Cruz leading an effort to help prepare, package and distribute 350 nutritious, freshly prepared lunches to Paterson community members experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Cruz also donated 100 new ladies coats, phones, and $5,000 through his nonprofit, the Victor Cruz Foundation.
“I know that volunteering my time is a small gesture but giving back to my community is extremely important to me,” Cruz said. “I love that Campbell’s Chunky shares the same dedication and passion.”
The lunches included chicken, rice, broccoli and hot soup donated to Eva’s from Campbell’s on behalf of New York Giants Director of Player Engagement Ashley Lynn, whom Campbell’s named a Community Champion. Lynn has worked with Eva’s for many years and, before the COVID-19 pandemic, organized Giants rookie players to help serve Thanksgiving meals and inspire hundreds of guests.
“The pandemic has left millions of households struggling to feed their families,” Lynn said. “Mothers have been disproportionately impacted, and I’m so proud to have partnered with Campbell’s Chunky and Eva’s Village to bring awareness to the issue and help local families.”
Eva’s Village is dedicated to ensuring that men, women and mother’s with children experiencing poverty, food and housing insecurity, underlying issues with substance use, mental or physical health disorders and lack of job readiness have the tools they need to overcome these barriers to healthy, stable and financially secure lives.
“Our long-time partnership with the Giants, and especially with Victor Cruz, is incredibly important to us and to the people we serve at Eva’s Village,” Eva’s Village CEO Howard Haughton said. “Victor is a true hero, not just because of what he did on the football field, but he gives back to his community. His generosity, combined with Campbell’s wonderful donation of soup, will not only warm the bellies of those we serve today, but their hearts as well.”
Eva’s Village is located at 393 Main Street in Paterson and is open Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To learn more visit evasvillage.org.