HARRISON, N.J. – Sky Blue FC players, staff and several members of the club supporters’ group Cloud 9 will be on-site Thursday at Newark-based Greater Newark Conservancy to volunteer for the COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort.

The volunteer outing is the first effort organized by the newly formed Sky Blue FC Player Community Outreach Committee. The Committee features nine Sky Blue players focused on enacting change and giving back to the community.

“We are so fortunate to have an incredible fanbase and community to play in front of at Red Bull Arena,” defender Sabrina Flores said in a statement. “As a team, we feel there is no better way to show our thanks than to give back to and support the underserved community around us. We are so excited to partner with the CareSparc, Table to Table, the Greater Newark Conservancy, and partners to help their COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort and package and deliver food to more than 1,500 senior residents and 600 families in the Newark, N.J. area. As professional athletes, we are so much more than what we do on the field. Serving the community around us is a huge part of who we are and what we want to be part of.”

Each Thursday, while observing COVID-19 safety protocols, area volunteers gather at the conservancy to pack the food into bags for delivery. The bags, filled with fresh vegetables, herbs, fruit, milk, meats, desserts, juice, and other items, are delivered to local seniors and families’ doorsteps.

“We started the COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort when the pandemic hit, transitioning from an earlier partnership with Table to Table, who supplies the food,” managing partner of CareSparc Keith DaCosta said. “I want to thank Sky Blue FC for donating their time and support for our emergency food effort and for bringing greater awareness to food insecurity, particularly with our senior community. Sky Blue FC is the first professional sports team to volunteer to help seniors and families participating in our program.”

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at Amazon.com.