Impact Programs

Innovative + Measurable

We develop our impact programs in collaboration with our local communities as we look to incubate innovative, scalable and sustainable solutions that advance economic development in our hometown and beyond.

As we discover successful, replicable models, we seek to share these programs with other cities where we’re based. One such example is Newark Working Kitchens (NWK). Funded and led by Audible, NWK empowers Newark’s restaurants to stay open and feed vulnerable neighbors with a model that could be replicated almost anywhere.

NWK Impact


1,153,000 meals delivered to date.


More than 10,000 meals served weekly.


Meal delivery to more than 70 locations.


30 restaurants have relaunched services, sustaining hundreds of jobs.

Help Newark Working Kitchens achieve our 1-million-meal goal!

Donate Now

Newark Working Kitchens

NWK supports local restaurants during Covid-19 by helping them rehire employees to cook thousands of nutritious meals each week for Newark residents in need. NWK has helped 30 local restaurants – more than half of which are minority - and women-owned – relaunch and employ an average of eight employees per establishment, 72% of whom are Newark residents.

NWK works closely with the City of Newark and local organizations to determine where meal delivery is needed most. Collaborating on distribution with tenants’ associations and a growing list of community organizations ensures Newark’s most vulnerable residents – from low-income seniors and families, to residents in disabled housing and those without homes – receive safe and consistent access to meals. Inspired by the city’s history of resilience, NWK is preserving Newark’s hard-fought economic gains.

This is keeping the lights on, honestly. If we weren’t doing this, in terms of our bottom line, we’d be completely boarded up.

Sean McGovernThird generation co-owner McGovern’s Irish pub

NWK in the Press

The Today Show

Walter Green, Covid-19 survivor and owner of Uncle Willie’s Wings, almost lost his restaurant because of the pandemic. Now he’s working with Newark Working Kitchens to feed those in need.

Learn More


Two cooks fill containers with rice that will be delivered to the Newark community.

ROI-NJ calls Newark Working Kitchens a "win-win program" that has delivered 1 million meals, sustaining 30 restaurants and 200+ jobs while feeding more than 10,000 city residents.

Learn More

21 Days to Impact

When it became clear Covid-19 was forcing people to stay home in March 2020, we knew it was critical to act fast to support our local restaurants, particularly those we’ve partnered with for our Lunch Out Wednesday program. We called Mayor Ras J. Baraka’s office and asked how we could support the city, and we learned food was an immediate need. We worked with the mayor’s office, World Central Kitchen, chef Marcus Samuelsson and community organizations to develop a plan. Three weeks later, NWK was up and running, putting restaurants back to work.

NWK in Action

There's such an enormous loss of jobs. We have people that start lining up as early as 10:00 am, and we start distributing meals at 11:30 am.

Vicky HernandezExecutive Director of Ironbound Community Corporation

Donors + Community Partners

Newark Working Kitchens collaborates on distribution with tenants’ associations and a growing list of community organizations that serve thousands of people daily.

In addition to the outstanding community partners working on the ground, support and funding from government, corporations and foundations have been critical to NWK’s success. Major supporters include the Clara Lionel Foundation, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the City of Newark, TD Bank, PSEG and the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.

To learn more about who we work with, including our participating restaurants and those supporting NWK’s efforts, visit

Every NWK donation goes directly to buying meals to sustain our restaurants and community members most in need. Donate Now.

Donate Now

Stay Connected

Sign up for our quarterly newsletter to stay up to date with the Global Center for Urban Development and the impact we make.