FreshDirect to direct free food to those in need with ‘Operation 5-Borough Food Drive’

Photos courtesy of the Office of the Queens Borough President


A partnership focused on keeping Queens and its four neighboring boroughs fed during the COVID-19 pandemic has been formed with FreshDirect in an initiative called “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive”.

Queens will receive 400 boxes free of charge each day filled with food to help sustain people, which will be distributed by Queens community-based-organizations (CBOs). The initiative, which started on March 24, is currently set to run for four weeks.

The boxes will be distributed to community-based-organizations’ constituents including seniors, low-income families and other populations deemed as “vulnerable” throughout all 14 Queens Community Districts.

Many of the CBOs participating in the first-week of the initiative have participated in recent years in other food distributions with the Queens Borough President’s Office. 

CBOs participating in the first week of the month-long initiative include:

  • Catholic Charities: St. Mary’s of Winfield in Woodside
  • Catholic Charities: St. Raphael in Long Island City
  • Chinese American Planning Council, Inc. (CPC) Queens Community Center in Flushing
  • CommonPoint Queens – Sam Field Center in Little Neck
  • Elmcor Youth and Adult Activity, Inc. in Corona
  • HANAC, Inc. Ravenswood in Astoria
  • Harding Ford Vision, Inc. in Jamaica
  • Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA) Rockaway Park Senior Center in Rockaway Park
  • Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (KCS) Neighborhood Senior Centers in Corona and Flushing
  • Our Lady of Grace in Howard Beach
  • Peter Cardella Senior Citizens Center in Ridgewood
  • Project Hope Charities, Inc. in Jamaica
  • Queens Community House in Flushing and Kew Gardens
  • River Fund New York in Richmond Hill
  • Services Now for Adult Persons, Inc. (SNAP) in Queens Village
  • Sunnyside Community Services’ Center for Active Older Adults in Sunnyside

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will assist in transportation of some bulk grocery boxes to limited CBOs. 

Multiple attempts to reach FreshDirect for comment on why they decided to step up and offer this act of kindness went unanswered as of Thursday afternoon. 

In addition to boxes of food, Nestle Waters will donate 80,000 gallons of Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water and Boar’s Head will donate 25,000 pepperoni pouches to the grocery boxes. Any Queens-based CBO with interest in participating in the food distribution can call 718-286-2680 or email [email protected] with the subject line “FreshDirect”. 

Boxes include: 

  • Rice (2 bags, 16oz)
  • Pasta (2 boxes, 16oz)
  • Canned beans (2 cans, 10-16oz)
  • Canned meat/fish (2 cans, 3-5oz)
  • Canned vegetables (2 cans, 8-15oz)
  • Raisins/dried fruit (4 boxes, 2oz per box)
  • Cereal/oatmeal (1 box, 10-20oz)
  • Milk/milk substitute (1 container, 32oz)
  • Corn (2 ears)
  • 2 potatoes (two)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • Orange/apple (2 in total)

“The next few weeks and months will be an unprecedented challenge,” said acting Queensborough president Sharon Lee. “Queens thanks FreshDirect for moving swiftly and with foresight to help stem the tide of food insecurity on the near horizon.”