One Bayside baker is challenging everyone to be kind to the homeless this Valentine’s Day.
Lisa Cotoggio, the founder of Grandma’s Cheesecake Sandwiches, has created the Hearts4Homeless Valentine’s Day Challenge and will be distributing over 150 heart-shaped cheesecake sandwiches to homeless individuals in Manhattan and Long Island.
“I think it’s really important that we make them feel welcome. As it is now, the homeless population has gotten very bad here in the city and the rest of the country and our politicians are not doing anything to help. So I think maybe starting this challenge would be able to get people together to go out and help them,” said Cotoggio.
Cotoggio created special heart-shaped cheesecake sandwiches with cherry centers that she plans to give out to people living in several homeless encampments. The baker uses her grandmother Raphaella’s cheesecake recipe and sandwiches the confection between two freshly baked cookies.
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, Cotoggio will be at the Babylon and Hicksville Long Island Railroad Stations starting at 11 a.m. On Thursday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m., she will give out the sweet treats in Midtown Manhattan from Fifth to Seventh avenues between 32nd and 36th streets.
In a video announcement, Cotoggio challenged viewers to hand out heart-shaped chocolates, cupcakes and other Valentine’s Day treats to the homeless on Valentine’s Day. She noted that people should ensure that the individuals they give treats to do not have any food allergies.
“Let’s just see what we can do to make them feel better. It is the most romantic day of the year and they deserve to feel the same way we do,” said Cotoggio.
The Valentine’s Day cheesecakes are currently available in two varieties — cherry and strawberry — on grandmascheesecakesandwiches.com. For a limited time, you can use the code 10%6PACKHEARTS to get 10 percent off a six-pack of heart cheesecake sandwiches.