Thomas Edison State University donated over 5,000 pounds of food to Trenton Residents on Saturday.

“Today, Thomas Edison State University distributed 5,000 pounds of groceries and gave 25 vaccinations to our Trenton neighbors. We had more than 20 employees from TESU volunteering today, a strong indication of our commitment to the city of Trenton and community service. We had a fabulous day talking to everyone that came out to pick up groceries and get their Covid-19 vaccinations. We look forward to many more community engagement events throughout the year,” said TESU President Merodie A Hancock.

The project was in partnership with North Bridge Foundation Corp. and the vaccine clinics that TESU routinely does.

“This is the first time we do a Community Food Drive and vaccination clinic,” said Marcela Ospina Mazirz, MPA Vice President for Community affairs. The event was initially supposed to start at 11 AM and go on to 1 PM. Due to people coming and waiting in line, they began to hand out food at 10 AM.

“What changed is that people started lining up at nine in the morning, waiting, so you know, we kind of started a little bit earlier, the vaccination where we’ll keep going until you know, anybody that comes in, we’ll keep going past one o’clock if we need to,” Maziarz said.

Volunteers worked in a quick and organized way to hand out food to those in line. “I mean, people started coming in, and they immediately got to work,” Chelsey Mendoza, a volunteer, said. “As soon as I got here, everybody was getting to work. We quickly formed a nice little assembly line, and we just got it going, and everybody fell into place seamlessly.”

The assembly line of volunteers handed out fresh fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and other non-perishable items to Trenton residents. Wilmer Luna, the CEO of North Bridge Foundation Corp, explained that they are trying to lessen the burden with inflation affects prices across the board.

“People have enough bills going on…So in these difficult times, people are in dire need of services such as this. This was always a plus for everyone because unfortunately with the state of our world, you know, this is needed,” Wilmar said.

Maziarz saw the day as a success as they started early and ended late.

“I think that what’s important is that we’re are the one university here in the city of Trenton with an actual location here who has the history, who has had such community engagement, and we just want to continue to spread that word, and let people know that we’re here,” Maziarz said. “We’re your neighbors. We’re here with you and your neighborhood, and we want you to know what we offer.”