Press Releases

Newark Working Kitchens Adds Five Local Restaurants

A stack of NWK meals are lined up on a table with labels.

Newark Working Kitchens (NWK), a Covid-19 response that activates Newark’s restaurants to deliver nutritious meals to low-income seniors and families, today announced the addition of five restaurants to the program following a $2 million award from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). With this additional funding, cherished Newark restaurants 9 Thai Cuisine, Casa d’Paco, La Tienda Tapas, Queen Pizza, and Sihana Café join NWK as it continues to support of the city’s small businesses and residents amidst the pandemic.

Since April 2020, NWK has delivered 1.2 million meals to senior, low-income and disabled housing residents and people without homes, and it has sustained dozens of Newark’s local and family-run establishments. Meals prepared by NWK participating restaurants, more than half of which are minority- and women-owned, have reached more than 10,000 residents across 70 locations. With support from both the private and public sector, NWK has preserved hundreds of jobs, helping several restaurants relaunch services and rehire staff.

“For more than 18 months, Newark Working Kitchens has provided a vital lifeline to Newark’s restaurants and residents at a time of great uncertainty,” said Abhinav Mathur, SVP, Global Center for Urban Development. “Another pandemic winter is approaching and thanks to the meaningful support of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, we’re going to be able to serve thousands of meals this holiday season and beyond. It’s crucial funding like this that allows NWK to continue its impactful work, and I urge donors of all sizes to consider supporting this program as the year comes to a close.”

“My restaurant and employees mean the world to me, but after the economic toll of the past two years, I was faced with the harsh reality of layoffs or even worse, shutting down completely,” said Angel Leston, owner of Casa D’Paco. “By joining Newark Working Kitchens, I didn’t have to do either of those things. In fact, I can now confidently enter the holiday season knowing my business is afloat and my staff are securely employed. I am proud to be a part of this program and to have the opportunity to give back to a community that has long supported me and my restaurant.”

“With colder weather approaching, I’m so grateful to see programs like Newark Working Kitchens doubling down on their commitment to Newark,” said Central Ward Council Member LaMonica R. McIver. “Not only has NWK helped so many of the city’s restaurants keep their lights on and staff paid, it’s ensured many residents in the City of Newark have access to healthy and reliable meals during this unprecedented global health crisis. NWK has truly made its mark on our community and its impact will be felt for many years to come.”

Newark Working Kitchens was launched by Audible, a company that has made improving the lives of the communities in which it operates one of its defining principles. In September of 2020, Audible launched its Global Center for Urban Development to expand the company’s community and economic investment and institute new and scalable models focused on advancing equity, racial justice and economic empowerment. The Center supports Audible’s numerous initiatives, including NWK and Audible’s collaboration with Newark Venture Partners (NVP), an internationally heralded early-stage social impact investment fund.

As with NWK and NVP, the center works in tandem with the City of Newark, which guides NWK to determine where meal delivery is needed most and collaborates with NWK on distribution to tenants associations and a growing list of community organizations, including Ironbound Community Corporation, Bridges Outreach, FOCUS Hispanic Center for Community Development, Newark Emergency Services for Families, Palm Street Block Association, NJCRI/Crossroads Drop-in Center, Tree House Cares, Willing Heart Community Care Center, and the YMCA.

Current participating NWK restaurants include: 9 Thai Cuisine, Andros Restaurant & Diner, Black Swan, Blueprint Café, Bulgogi Zip, Casa d’Paco, the Green Chicpea, City Rub Steak & Smokehouse, Cornbread Newark, Fresh Coast, Harvest Table, Kilkenny Alehouse, King’s #1, La Cocina, La Tienda Tapas, Marcus B&P, McGovern’s Tavern, Mercato Tomato Pie/Novelty Burger, O’LaLa Empanadas, Panzz Seafood & Wings, Pita Square, Queen Pizza, Robert’s Pizza, Sigri Indian BBQ, Sihana Café, Vonda’s Kitchen, Uncle Willie’s Wings, and the Walla.

In February 2021, the NJEDA awarded NWK $2 million as part of Phase One of its Sustain and Serve NJ Program.

For more information email or donate here.


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