Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee announced a collaboration with the online grocer called “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive” last Tuesday. She stressed the importance of ensuring support for the borough’s families in a time of escalating public health and economic crisis.
“The next few weeks and months will be an unprecedented challenge,” said Lee. “Queens thanks FreshDirect for moving swiftly and with foresight to help stem the tide of food insecurity on the near horizon. We can make a bigger impact against the curve if we act together and act now.”
Each package, provided free of charge by FreshDirect, contains two bags of rice, two boxes of pasta, two cans of beans, two cans of meat or fish, two cans of vegetables, four boxes of dried fruit, one box of cereal/oatmeal, one container of milk or milk substitute, two ears of corn and two potatoes, as well as an onion, carrot, orange and apple.
Nestlé Waters is also joining the initiative, donating 80,000 gallons of Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water. And Boar’s Head is donating product for over 12,000 family grocery boxes.
Care packages will be picked up by participating Queens community-based organizations (CBOs) to distribute among their constituents. This includes seniors, low-income families and other vulnerable populations across the county.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has offered to assist with transporting boxes.
Queens CBOs participating in the very first week of the initiative include:
• Woodside/Sunnyside: Catholic Charities, St. Mary’s of Winfield, Sunnyside Community Services Center for Active Older Adults
• Astoria/LIC: Catholic Charities, St. Raphael, HANAC Ravenswood
• Flushing: Chinese American Planning Council, Queens Community House, Korean Community Services Neighborhood Senior Center
• Ridgewood: Peter Cardella Senior Citizens Center
• Jamaica: Harding Ford Vision, Project Hope Charities
• Richmond Hill/Kew Gardens: River Fund New York, Queens Community House
• Corona: Elmcor Youth and Adult Activity, KCS Neighborhood Senior Center
• Queens Village: Services Now for Adult Persons (SNAP)
• Little Neck: CommonPoint Queens – Samuel Field Center
• Rockaway Park: Jewish Association for Services for the Aged Rockaway Park Senior Center
• Howard Beach: Our Lady of Grace
Any Queens-based CBOs interested in participating in the FreshDirect initiative can call (718) 286-2680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “FreshDirect.”
For those who need access to transportation for grocery shopping, the National Supermarket Association (NSA) also announced a partnership with Lyft to provide seniors with rides during their designated shopping hours.
Using the code NSARELIEF in the Lyft app, seniors will have access to $25 worth of rides to and from designated NSA-affiliated supermarkets such as Foodtown, C-Town and Food Universe during between 5:30 and 9:30 a.m.
The program comes as a part of the rideshare app’s recently launched “LyftUp” initiative, which collaborates with public health entities, local governments, nonprofits and community organizations to ease blows dealt by the coronavirus outbreak.
Read more at lyft.com/blog.