Food pantries see increase in demand
Our food pantries are seeing a surge in demand as the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate Queens, and beyond. Millions of families have been thrust into an uncertain economic future, unsure of where their next meal will come from. Zani Simmons, Queens Community House’s Community Food Coordinator, and other staff are seeing that hardship first hand.
“Due to this crisis, I've seen a substantial increase in the number of people coming to the pantry" said Simmons. "As this crisis persists, and as more people lose their income sources, we will need a growing amount of food to meet the demand.”
"There is a particular need for fresh food, especially for seniors on medications or with diet restrictions," continued Simmons. "Fresh produce is especially important for anyone trying to boost their immune system,” said Simmons. In addition to its regular pantry deliveries from the Food Bank of NYC, QCH has been relying on support from local businesees like Fresh Direct, from local elect officials, from Queens College, and from Queens Farm, which has been providing weekly deliveries of fresh eggs.
QCH has also modified its programs to support residents; reorganizing staff and volunteers to respond to the growing need. To protect the health and well-being of everyone involved, participants now queue up outside and are given a to-go bag with an assortment of items. In addition, staff work with the seniors to have their food delivered by volunteers.
If you, or someone you know is in need of food, the Pomonok food pantry is open Thursdays, 10am to 1pm (67-09 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11367). Keeping with social distancing protocols, it is important to call ahead for set time appointment: 718-591-6060.
The Forest Hills food pantry is open Thursdays, 8:30am to 9:30am or until food runs out (108-25 62nd Drive, Forst Hills, NY 11375). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.