FeedNJ, a program that supports local restaurants and soup kitchen organizations, is purchasing 500 meals a week from local restaurants for Toni's Kitchen, located at 73 S. Fullerton Ave., to provide to families and individuals.

The program is providing 250 meals every Thursday, and another 250 every Saturday morning.

Toni’s Kitchen and FeedNJ both received direct grants from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority in the winter to purchase meals from restaurants to serve free of charge. The FeedNJ allotment supplements the meals Toni's was already purchasing with its own grant funds.

“People who relied on our aid pre-pandemic still do, and many people who previously didn’t now do as well,” Toni’s Kitchen executive director Anne Mernin said. “Being able to buy some of the meals we serve is crucial, and I want to thank FeedNJ for helping buy 500 meals every week. We are hoping that both FeedNJ and Toni’s Kitchen will be renewed for grant funding from the state to keep supporting restaurants and soup kitchens.”

Essex County Commissioner and Montclair native Brendan Gill was on site at the inaugural Toni's Kitchen-FeedNJ event Friday, handing bagged lunches to residents.

“I would like to commend the mission and work of the FeedNJ program, which is so important in the immediate and medium-term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,”  Gill said. “Local restaurants have been hurting all pandemic, and are anxious to return not just to 100% meal service capacity, but more than 100% to make up for the past year. Meanwhile, more people are facing food-insecurity, even in areas with high average incomes. This program helps local businesses and residents, so I’m glad they asked for my assistance in partnering with Toni’s Kitchen.”

Toni’s Kitchen provides full meals, prepared in house and purchased from restaurants to area residents, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and on Sunday from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

No questions are ever asked and no proof of income is needed.