April 16, 2020


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City firefighters work extended shifts that keep them on duty around the clock. So when meal time comes, they have to cook for themselves.

The result is that great firehouse cooking is a long and honored tradition among firefighters everywhere and Newark is no different.

“Everyone knows firefighters are great cooks,” said Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose. “I thought during this COVID-19 crisis our people could help seniors and others who needed meals.”

For three weeks now, Newark firefighters have been cooking anywhere from 50 to 100 meals a day.

“It’s just another example of our City’s public servants are doing just that: serving the public and going above and beyond in this time of crisis,” said Mayor Ras J. Baraka.

The lead chefs are Stephen Wolf of Engine 7 on West Market Street and Hussein Tyler from Engine 19.

“They cook and package the meals individually,” said Assistant Public Safety Director Raul Malave. “It’s good stuff, meat loaf or baked chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables, baked ziti with meatballs. They make stews and soups.

“Between, the meals we cook and the meals we’ve packaged, we’ve delivered about 1400 meals in three weeks,” Assistant Director Malave said.”

Once a week, the firefighters team with Hello Fresh and Table to Table and go to food warehouses to package meals to distribute to those in need.

“We’ll deliver about 300 a day,” he said.

Stephen Wolf and the Fire Division have also been sending meals to doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic at University Hospital in Newark, and Newark Beth Israel and St. Michael’s medical centers.

Sadly, the Wolf family lost their 73-year-old mother, Carole, last week from Coronavirus.