An article by Monsy Alvarado in this morning’s RECORD quotes Borough Administrator David Lorenzo as stating that Grace Church was not ordered to stop the lunch program. Although the church told CoFiA, via email, that there were fire and safety concerns, Lorenzo said an inspection of the church turned up no violation. http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/2017/01/24/help-day-laborers-hits-obstacles/96166752/
So we are still wondering what the motivation was for shutting down the programs after almost seven years of a congenial relationship between the church and CoFiA.
There has been no change in our programs or in the church premises. And the work we do is very helpful to the community. Alvarado quotes one man, a day laborer, as saying, “For me, it was giving me a helping hand…I’m grateful to them and their help, and for giving us a meal. But if they can’t give anymore, what can we do?”
We are offering tickets for free lunches at local restaurants, and our other programs (wage theft recovery, workers link connections, ESL, leadership training, OSHA recruitment, and others) continue as usual. But the lunch program provided not just a hot lunch but also an opportunity to participate in educational programs and general conversation with staff and other guests.
We are looking for alternative sites (and welcome all suggestions!) but in the meantime we still are asking, “Why?
If you have information or suggestions drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.