Western Queens residents hoping to donate to the less fortunate this holiday season can support Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s 10th annual food drive. All collected items will go to the women and children who receive services at the Long Island City-based nonprofit Hour Children.
The food drive allows members and friends of the community to donate non-perishable food items such as canned meats, canned soups, canned vegetables, canned or dried fruit, infant formula, peanut butter, dried goods, and other pasta, rice and grains.
“It’s an honor to help people in need, food is a basic need for all of our residents and our holiday food drive is a way to address that need,” Van Bramer said. “I represent a community of people who are determined to overcome obstacles. My role as a Council member has led me to meet many families who try to shoulder great burdens. The holiday food drive is a small, yet an effective way of helping those families who rarely, if ever, reach out for help.”
Participants may drop food off at any of the seven locations around western Queens, including Van Bramer’s district office located at 47-01 Queens Blvd. Suite 205 in Sunnyside, or at any of the Queens Public Library branches in western Queens, including the new Hunters Point Library on Center Boulevard in Long Island City.
“Hour Community Food Pantry serves our local residents but also people from throughout Queens and beyond,” Hour Children Development Director Megan Campbell said. “We handled nearly 10,000 visits last year from people in need, an increase over prior years. This time of year, people are incredibly generous. But hunger of course is year-round, and donations are what keeps us going.”
In 1986, Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, helped develop a home in Long Island City for children whose mothers were incarcerated. She got to know the mothers when she brought their children to visit, and quickly realized that the women would need additional support if they were to successfully reunite with their children after their release. Incorporated in 1992, Hour Children has since become a leading provider of prison- and community-based family services to support women and children as they reunite, stabilize and transform their lives.
“We’re grateful for great friends who remember us and their neighbors in need even when the holidays are over,” Campbell said. “The mission of Hour Children is to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and children successfully rejoin the community, reunite with their families, and build healthy, independent, and secure lives. The organization boats multiple programs to include women working programs, mental health support, community outreach and pantry, and supportive housing.”
For more information regarding the holiday food drive, contact Van Bramer’s district office at 718-383-9566.