Hundreds wait in line to receive fresh produce and and dairy products during a food distribution hosted by the New Jersey Farmers Against Hunger May 1 on the grounds of Immaculate Conception Church, Trenton. Photo from Our Lady of the Angels Parish Facebook page
Hundreds wait in line to receive fresh produce and and dairy products during a food distribution hosted by the New Jersey Farmers Against Hunger May 1 on the grounds of Immaculate Conception Church, Trenton. Photo from Our Lady of the Angels Parish Facebook page
The line stretched down Chestnut Avenue in Trenton’s Chambersburg section as hundreds of people practiced safe social distancing while waiting patiently in line. The throng of people, representing all ages and backgrounds, had come with the hope of receiving food.

This was the scene May 1 as volunteers from the New Jersey Farmers Against Hunger hosted a two-hour “Emergency Free Farm Market” special food distribution to assist people in need. The distribution was held on the grounds of the 145-year-old Immaculate Conception Church, which is part of Our Lady of the Angels Parish.

By his estimation, Father Cesar Rubiano, pastor of Our Lady of the Angels Parish, said some 600 people were served, receiving fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products. There were about 300 walk-ins and about the same number of cars pulling into the parking lot, he said, noting that he appreciated the opportunity to greet many of those seeking food as well as the 60 volunteers who served the food and the members of the city’s Police Department who directed the traffic.

The distribution, which was held on the day the Universal Church commemorated the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, “was open to anyone temporarily struggling to take care of their family’s basic needs,” Father Rubiano said.

“The pandemic at this time doesn’t seem to make any difference,” he said. “What I saw was a lot of people in need who were very happy to receive something to put on their tables at home.”

Father Rubiano added that along with having his parish be part of the food distribution and helping to provide physical nourishment to people, he is also pleased to provide some spiritual nourishment to his parishioners by praying with them at their homes. He remains outside, at a safe distance, per state health protocols.