Karenn Hapuck Alves
Toggle caption Photo by Karen Hapuck Alves

Days after SASN student launches initiative to feed needy, family member dies from coronavirus

On March 29, a 26-year-old undergraduate student of Rutgers University launched an initiative to feed those in need throughout and beyond New Jersey communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Six days later, the virus claimed the life of a family member.

“I haven’t been sleeping a lot just because it’s a turmoil of emotions," Karenn Hapuck Alves said. "With losing someone ... and I have my parents in South America calling me like, ‘Stop what you’re doing. With the virus, you’re going to get yourself killed.’ So it’s been quite a rollercoaster ride.”

Noe Hernandez, the stepson of Alves’ grandmother, lived in New York and was 32 years old when he died April 4. His father, Alves step-grandfather, Lalo, has dually tested positive for the coronavirus and continues to practice self-isolation while remaining at home in New York.

Alves, who also works full time as a personal assistant for a small company in Union, has been coping with her grief while thousands of miles away from her parents and brother, who are based in Brazil. As of Tuesday, she had yet to secure a service for her cousin at a New York funeral home.

“I called 10 funeral homes and was not successful. I found one and sent in the forms for cremation and I still haven’t had any contact yet," Alves said. “It’s going to be two weeks that he has passed, and we don’t have any news.”

Read the full story on NJ.com