March 25, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Help is on the way for Sunnyside and Woodside residents who have found themselves on the breadline following the coronavirus shutdown.
Starting today, a new food distribution center will open at the Mosaic Church Office, located at 46-01 43rd Ave. in Sunnyside, providing free food for those hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus.
The center will be open on weekdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and organizers are appealing to anyone who needs food or assistance to come to the church office. Deliveries will be organized for those with reduced mobility or the elderly who cannot make it to the center.
The makeshift center has been set up by the newly-formed Woodside/Sunnyside Community Covid-19 Relief Group – established by local religious and community leaders like Brent O’Leary and the Mosaic Church. The group has been collecting supplies from food pantries throughout western Queens and assembling meal packs at the center.
The group is also hoping to raise money so it can help support local restaurants and provide cooked meals. Organizers are looking to raise funds that can be used to pay local restaurants to cook meals for those facing hard times.
The idea is to help the restaurants earn some money while taking care of those in need.
This concept was launched in Long Island City– by the newly-formed LIC Community Covid-19 Relief Group– where meals are cooked for the needy and each restaurant receives $5 per meal cooked.
The LIC Community Covid-19 Relief Group has also helped the Woodside/Sunnyside group by dropping of food and providing advice.
Currently, the Woodside/Sunnyside group is asking for the public to drop off food–or make cash donations–at the Mosaic Community Center.
The group is requesting non-perishable items like canned foods, pasta, nuts, peanut butter, and sauces. At this point, all monies received will go toward purchasing supplies and food.
Any excess food will be delivered to Saint Raphael Church on Greenpoint Avenue or at Saint Teresa Church in Woodside.
The group is also appealing to residents to help its volunteer efforts in terms of food preparation and meal distribution.
“In these tough times, it is wonderful to see the community coming together to help each other,” said group founder Brent O’Leary.
“This group will do its best to make sure no one is food insecure during this crisis. We appreciate all the donations and other help. We will get through this together,” he added.
Local restaurant owners who are interested in providing low-cost meals are asked to contact O’Leary at [email protected]
Those wishing to volunteer are advised to email Eugenie Woo at [email protected] and outline what services they can provide and if they can provide private transportation.
Financial donations can be made by clicking on this link.