The line of cars waiting to pick up free food snaked around the main campus drive, past the entrance to the College of New Jersey, and down the highway for another 1.2 miles. Police had to manage the gridlock and direct traffic on Route 31 and Green Lane because the crowds were so large.
Some people waited for more than two hours hoping to receive a box of produce and dairy products, while others gave up. Those in line included waitresses, baristas, busboys, retail clerks, substitute teachers, personal trainers at local gyms and others who are out of work or have had their hours reduced.
Rising unemployment and school closures are putting added stress on food pantries. Food banks and nonprofit groups across the region have seen the number of people needing help increase dramatically as unemployment in the state has reached record levels because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The free farm market at The College of New Jersey was sponsored by Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, Farmers Against Hunger, the Dairy Farmers of America, Shadybrook Farm, Fulper Family Farmstead, Stark & Stark, and Solebury Orchards.
Another free farm market will be held from noon to 2 p.m. at the American Legion Hall on North Union Street in Lambertville on Saturday.