Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens hosted its second Pop-Up Food Distribution at the Catholic Charities Therese Cervini Early Childhood Development Center located at 35-33 104th Street, Corona, NY 11368 on Friday, April 17th from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for families and individuals in the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grab-and-go style event provided families and individuals with bags of food that will feed a family of three for three days. Catholic Charities prepared 1,000 bags which included an array fresh fruits and vegetables, beverages and nonperishable goods. Some additional items consisted of apples, oranges, lemons, raisins, bread, Gatorade, apple juice, instant coffee, rice, cans of fruit, tuna fish, peanut butter, microwaveable macaroni and cheese, cereals, packets of mayonnaise and jelly, applesauce and black beans.
“Just from last week, the lines at all of our food pantries have doubled. It’s because people are out of work and looking for help,” said Richard Slizeski, Senior Vice President for Mission, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens. “Last week we distributed 750 bags of food for about 5,000 meals. Today we’re distributing 1,000 bags of food totaling approximately 8,000 meals and we don’t think it will be enough.” 60 percent of the COVID-19 cases in New York City are in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
Catholic Charities also provided access to additional assistance, information and resources, including outreach material encouraging an already undercounted neighborhood to participate and self-respond to the 2020 Census.
“We are pushing for the 2020 Census,” said Mr. Slizeski. “As we all know, if you’re counted by the Census, that means more resources will come to your community, including better representation in your community. We want the community to be cognizant of that.”
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is responding to the hardworking families in this primarily immigrant neighborhood by providing pop-up food pantries, access to supportive services via our call center and behavioral health services via tele-health.
In the past two weeks, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has seen a 50 percent increase in the need for hot meals to be delivered to isolated seniors. On average, the agency distributes 5,000 meals, but as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, Catholic Charities is delivering 8,000 meals weekly. Food pantry distributions have also increased. On average, the agency distributes 83,000 meals per month within our food pantry network. Two weeks ago, Catholic Charities saw a 20 percent increase across our 20 parish-based food pantries.
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The Pop-Up Food Distribution was organized and funded by Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens as a direct response to our neighbors in need in both boroughs.
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About Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens: For 120 years, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has been providing quality social services to the neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, and currently offers 160-plus programs and services for children, youth, adults, older adults, and those struggling with mental illness. As one of the largest faith-based developers of affordable housing in the country, Catholic Charities provides 4,330 units of housing for low-income seniors, families, veterans, the formerly homeless, those with HIV and those struggling with mental illness. For additional information, visit our website at www.ccbq.org.