January 19, 2024


← Back to News overview

Newark,NJ – January 18, 2024 – Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that the City of Newark will join with Wellpoint New Jersey to host “Repack the Backpack,” a school supply distribution expo, on Monday, January 22, from 3:30 p.m. to 6p.m., at the First Avenue Elementary School. The school is located at 214 1st Avenue.


At the expo, Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement Jacqueline Mercado-Quiles and Wellpoint leadership, along with United Community Corporation representatives and Center for Family Services staff will give out free school supplies, including notebooks, pens, pencils, folders, binders, paper and other essential items to children throughout the state. In addition, coats, socks, gloves, groceries, diapers, wipes, and formula will also be available, while supplies last. This event will also offer flu and COVID-19 vaccines to children and families, blood pressure and glucose screenings, and pediatric dental hygiene. Representatives from Wellpoint will be on-site to assist with Medicaid/Medicare renewals.


“This event mirrors Newark’s comprehensive approach to the wellbeing of all our residents,” said Mayor Baraka. “Our children, like all of us, need their whole range of needs taken care of: physical health and health insurance, education, clothing and food, and the tools and supplies necessary for success. Above all, they and their families need a sense of belonging, and of being a valued member of our community. That’s what ‘Repack the Backpack’ means to Newark, and I’m proud and grateful to Deputy Mayor Quiles, Wellpoint, and all our partners for their commitment to helping our young people thrive.”


“It is always exciting and enjoyable to work with caring partners to support our youth and their education,” Deputy Mayor Mercado-Quiles said. “It is an act of unity that empowers their lives and their futures. I thank Well point and our partners for their teamwork in this Expo and look forward to joining our families and youth to create a brighter future for them.”


"OnJanuary 1, Amerigroup changed its name to WellPoint. Wellpoint is a name thatillustrates our dedication to being a lifetime, trusted health partner with amission to help people live well across all life points of life,” said PatrickFox, MD, president of WellPoint New Jersey. “This rebranding is a continuationof our bold and ambitious purpose to improve the health of humanity by servingpeople across their entire health journey; connecting them to care, support andresources; and simplifying healthcare to make health more equitable andaccessible.”


Formore information about NJ FamilyCare renewals, contact Wellpoint at 1-877-453-4080.


AboutWellpoint New Jersey

Wellpoint New Jersey, formerly known as Amerigroup, helpsimprove health care access and quality for more than 250,000 low-incomeresidents throughout the state by developing innovative care managementprograms and services. Members are assured care that is not only accessible butalso accountable, comprehensive, integrated, and patient-centered. AmerigroupNew Jersey provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encouragemembers to become active participants in their health care. Members are empoweredto choose and sustain a healthy lifestyle through health education programs.For more information about Wellpoint New Jersey, visit:




For more informationon the City of Newark, please visit our website at


Follow us on