• Greater Bergen Community Action

Greater Bergen Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic: From the Desk of President & CEO, Robert Halsch




As I write this letter, we are 16 months into the pandemic that changed the world as we knew it. There truly is no aspect of our lives that has not been touched by Covid-19. And yet, we persevered; we pivoted; we became innovative; and we discovered deep wells of compassion for our neighbors and friends. Here at Greater Bergen Community Action, we never stopped. We met the rising need in our community head on both through our existing programs and with new initiatives to meet the challenges of the day. I am so proud of the Greater Bergen family who worked tirelessly on behalf of our clients and our community. Perhaps no program area was more impacted than Head Start. The loss of a year of in-person learning for our young students will be a challenge for years to come. And yet, our teachers and family workers stayed in touch with each child and each family.



Our Food Services crew continued to prepare healthy meals and snacks, which were distributed to families weekly. Through virtual meetings and phone calls, we taught, celebrated milestones, and demonstrated for parents how they could continue the activities for healthy development. Our staff and administration have developed safety protocols and practiced them tirelessly. We wore out a few teddy bears practicing the new drop off and pick up routines. We will be ready for in-person learning, and we are eager to help the little ones get the support they need to thrive. Our Food Services crew continued to prepare healthy meals and snacks, which were distributed to families weekly. Through virtual meetings and phone calls, we taught, celebrated milestones, and demonstrated for parents how they could continue the activities for healthy development.




Our staff and administration have developed safety protocols and practiced them tirelessly. We wore out a few teddy bears practicing the new drop off and pick up routines. We will be ready for in-person learning, and we are eager to help the little ones get the support they need to thrive.




Our second new initiative was the Covid-19 Vaccine Equity Team, which worked diligently to provide trusted information about and access to the vaccine for vulnerable people and communities of color. Our partnerships with New Bridge Medical Center, Black Clergy Against Covid and other groups are continuing to encourage and support people in their efforts to get vaccinated. And I want to particularly mention our residential, 1st Bergen, food services, and facilities staff members whose roles required them to be on site. Their dedication and courage deserve special recognition and our deepest gratitude.

The Pandemic challenged all of us in so many ways. I am proud to say that Greater Bergen Community Action not only met the challenges but exceeded them in service to our community.