Gov. Andrew Cuomo, along with other elected officials, attended New York State’s Annual Thanksgiving Food Donation Drive at the First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst to hand out 150 turkeys to community residents.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Congressman Joseph Crowley, state Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry joined the governor at the church, where people lined up to receive turkeys from Fresh Direct.
“You have about 3 million people who will go to bed hungry almost every night in this state, who have to choose between paying for rent and paying for food and what the holiday is really about is remembering the less fortunate and actually doing something for the less fortunate,” Cuomo said.
Rev. Patrick H. Young said the church has been holding turkey drives for several years but this was the first time a sitting governor attended the event. The church also held a turkey drive last Saturday in connection with the nonprofit One Hundred Black Men of NYC, where 300 turkeys were donated.
“To have the governor come out of his busy schedule…who flew in to show his care and concern for needy families who are in need this holiday season…it was rewarding,” Young said.
Children from the church’s Universal Pre-K program also attended the drive and posed for pictures with Cuomo. Young said the church is planning several events for the upcoming holiday season including a toy and coat drive on Dec. 18 at 6 p.m.
Young is encouraging people to bring warm coats and toys for children to the church, which is located at 100-10 Astoria Blvd. Young said the church will be working with The Landing, a homeless shelter in East Elmhurst to get donations to the children living there.
First Baptist Church also holds a hot meals program every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. and will serve Thanksgiving meals on Thursday from noon to 2 p.m. Every Saturday afternoon, the church acts as a food pantry, giving out food to the East Elmhurst community.
“It’s not about getting, it’s about giving,” Cuomo said. “So do something to give back because many, many people need it.”