By Madina Toure
Danny’s Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, a gourmet restaurant in College Point, will be distributing up to 300 meals to feed those in Flushing who do not have enough food to eat on Christmas Eve. The holiday meal, dubbed “Feed Those in Need on Christmas Eve,” was scheduled to take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall at 137-35 Northern Blvd.
The organizers of the meal reached out to local charities, homeless shelters and senior centers. The meal was to consist of grilled chicken, vegetables and mashed potatoes, along with a bottle of water. The event was expected to have 35 individual volunteers from various Flushing organizations.
Danny Lye, owner of the restaurant at 13-46 127th St. in College Point, said it made sense to host the meal giveaway since his restaurant does business in the neighborhood, noting the importance of giving back.
“We hope that we can make it better next year,” he said.
Helen Yang, the restaurant’s marketing consultant, said Lye had approached her about doing the giveaway when they bumped into each other at the Great Northeast Cheese Fest at Flushing Town Hall on Dec. 5.
They put together paperwork outlining the proposal and circulated it in different languages to get the word out. ]
“He said, ‘You know, Helen, this year, I want to give away 300 meals,’ and I said ‘What?!’” Yang said. “He said, ‘Yeah, I want to give 300 meals to people who need it this year, maybe for Christmas Eve.’ I said, ‘That’s a fantastic idea.’”
Nearly half of all working New Yorkers cannot afford enough food, according to the latest NYC Coalition Against Hunger report.
John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, said he is proud to promote Lye, one of the chamber’s members.
“He has one of the most generous hearts that I’ve encountered in the business community, and we’re hoping that this will be something that will encourage other business people and entrepreneurs in Flushing to give back to our community and to support and provide services for the public,” Choe said.
Sami Abu Shumays, Flushing Town Hall’s deputy director, said the organization was happy to host the meal in light of the hunger crisis in New York City.
“The need is increasing due to housing issues and cost-of-living increases across New York City,” Shumays said. “So we were very pleased when the Flushing Chamber reached out to us on behalf of Danny Lye’s steakhouse to say they want to do this food giveaway.”
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour