You are reading

Queens Thanksgiving Food Drive Continues As Organizers Say Need is Greater Than Ever

Volunteers sorting food boxes for the Mosaic Food Pantry (Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Nov. 23, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

An annual Thanksgiving food drive is taking place in western Queens as the need to help struggling families is greater than ever, organizers say.

Volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items and other supplies throughout the month that will be dropped off at the Mosaic Food Pantry in Sunnyside during the first week of December.

The organizers, the Long Island City-Astoria Lions Club and the Hunters Point Civic Association (HPCA), are currently reaching out to residents in Queens and Manhattan to make donations.

Brent O’Leary, the president of the HPCA who started the initiative in 2013, said his group is dropping collection boxes in select apartment buildings in Queens and Manhattan, and encouraging residents to fill them up with food and other essential items.

Most of the buildings that are part of the initiative have doormen who are members of the Emerald Guild and the Hibernia Provident Society.

The food drive typically collects around 5,000 pounds of food and critical items. However, the volunteers, O’Leary said, face an uphill battle to match that amount this year due to COVID-19.

“It’s been a crazy year and there are fewer people occupying buildings so we’re not sure how much we’re going to get but we’ll do our best to take in as much in as possible,” O’Leary said.

Under the initiative, volunteers drop the boxes to around 40 apartment buildings– and residents then fill them up with donations. The drop-offs began last week and will run through Nov. 30.

About half of the participating buildings are located in Queens–including Long Island City, Sunnyside and Jackson Heights.

Residents typically donate canned meats and food, boxes of cereal, pasta, rice and peanut butter. Other items include toilet paper, shampoo, body wash, baby wipes, diapers and infant formula.

The boxes, which are donated by the Padded Wagon Moving Company in the Bronx, will be picked up by volunteers on Nov. 30 using vans provided by Liffey Van Lines in Harlem.

In previous years, the donated items were sent to St. Mary’s Church in Long Island City where dozens of volunteers from local groups would come together and sort them, before delivering them to several pantries in Long Island City and in Woodside.

However, this year–given all the COVID-19 restrictions– most of the items will be delivered and distributed to residents in need at the Mosaic Food Pantry, located at 46-01 43rd Ave. O’Leary helped set up the pantry in March to aid out-of-work residents to get through the shutdown. Some items will also be dropped off at Hour Children, a non-profit located at 36-11 12th St.

O’Leary said the Mosaic Food Pantry has grown in size due to unprecedented demand and around 1,400 people now use the pantry each week. The pantry operates every Monday and Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

He said residents of buildings looking to participate should request a box and make donations.

“It has been a challenging time for everyone but the need for food is more severe and we are appealing to people to give whatever they can.”

Collection boxes can be requested by contacting O’Leary via email at [email protected]. A contact name, building address, phone number and e-mail are required. Drivers are also being sought to drop off and pick up boxes.

People are also encouraged to make financial contributions by going to the Mosaic website. Then, under the giving tab, choose “COVID-19 Sunnyside Woodside Food Distribution” on the dropdown menu.

email the author: [email protected]

34 Comments

Click for Comments 
Hope

You can purchase food at the dollar store to donate. I found canned food, breads, pasta, cereal, milk, paper products, etc. all for a dollar each. They also sell things for the house like cool decorations. Even helium balloons that i bought to showcase my home on the market for buyers. I cant wait to sell and leave nyc. Make sure you check the expiration dates at the dollar store and you should be fine. I am have pasta and tomato sauce for dinner. All for two bucks!!

1
3
Reply
Veronica

Non sugary cereal is so expensive at the market because its healthy. Instant Oatmeal is cheaper and easy to make.

Reply
Emanuel

With so manny languages spoken here i agree. We are the worlds most diverse boroughs. Giving food away is posted in other languages such as spanish. Asking for food donations should be posted in many languages.

1
3
Reply
Macus

Man growing up I used to eat mayo sandwiches and fried cornbread with ketchup and fried flour batter. I never had it easy. I been cooking like this since I was12 and no one helped only talked about how poor we was. But hey we made the nest of what we got. People are wasteful.

2
1
Reply
Juana

Would be nice if they gave out free christmas trees and gifts next month. We all should celebrate the holidays.

Reply
Melissa

You’re joking right? People are helping out for Thanksgiving and you’re already asking for Christmas decorations and gifts? How selfish.

Reply
Mac

@Melissa: You’re responding to a right wing troll who posts comments under multiple posting handles. He likes to post using Spanish names to make them look like mooches.

2
2
Reply
David

Nice try! Joe Biden won and not because of voter fraud or fake ballets. Get over it! And keep your conspiracy theories to yourself every time you disagree with a comment or opinion.

Reply
Chloe

A major problem with this is the fact that not everyone can commute to get a Thanksgiving turkey. Thanksgiving without turkey and gravy is just not the same. 😥

1
2
Reply
AG

It’s gonna get much worse before it gets any better. Also we aren’t thinking about some huge issues coming up…At the end of the year millions will be evicted from their homes. At the end of the year those homeless. RENT FREEZE NOW!!

3
2
Reply
Mike

Is the food cooked? Will they have time to defrost the turkey? What about herbs and spices? Just give them turkey cold cuts. Starving people are not picky.

1
2
Reply
Martha

How many of these people are Double Dipping? Some get Ebt Food Assistance and going back for more Goodies.

2
5
Reply
Helen

For the first time many people are getting a taste of what millions of other American’s cope with everyday of every year of their lives. Food insecurity; home insecurity; job insecurity; health care insecurity; the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness insecurity. Welcome to the real America, folks. Nothing’s likely to change as nothing has changed in fifty years…period.

3
2
Reply
Nancy

Food fight!!!
remember those? you see on TV and at parties….
Now get ready for the real food fight.

Reply
Veronica

They need to find away to insure that everyone in those lines are really in need and not freeloaders! Many of the people that I saw looked like they have never missed any meals at all.

3
5
Reply
Maritza

Life is unpredictable, it could happen to anyone.
you lose your job, and guess what, you suddenly don’t have any money to buy food.
So show some compassion, because it could very well happen to you. i waited in the cold and I am glad i did.

5
1
Reply
Robert

There is nothing at all depressing about being broke and starving on Thanksgiving and Christmas during a global pandemic.

1
1
Reply
Barbara

I love that they are participating to help people in need so everyone has a great Thanksgiving meal. 🦃 🦃 Great work to everyone!

Reply
Julie

Give me a break! Many of people show up when they hear its free whether they need it or not. Why not save some money on groceries for the week. Many will take if its given. Especially because its all over media and happening weekly. People start thinking I deserve it too. For some I am sure it turns into a rush and it becomes obsessive and habitual to know your getting something for free with no questions asked. They probably travel through each borough to get it.

3
6
Reply
Allison

This makes me sad and mad that it is this way! The Earth is plentiful and can take care of all of us yet greed exists. Im looking at my lunch now…just looking. I honestly feel bad eating it now 😢

To anybody going without right now, or without enough, I’m thinking of you. So many of us are. I truly hope things look up sooner than later. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and sending you a million virtual hugs! 🤗💖💞❤ I miss you Sunnyside!

4
1
Reply
Maria

Food yes…………Some Toilet Would be nice Also!!
Once again…………..Empty Shelves!!!!!!!!!!

2
1
Reply
Gloria

LISTEN i’m sorry to say this but there are people out there taking advantage of this. I mean people are driving Tesla cars and their out there getting free food. Come on no shame.

1
7
Reply
Mellisa

They need to make an app so people know where to go and when. I know i got lost in the south bronx last week. People were giving me wrong directions to locations when i asked and google maps was of no help. The places were closed or out of food.

1
2
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

Jan. 27, 2023 By Bill Parry

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.