Purchasing food for yourself and your family may prove difficult amidst trying to staying safe from the coronavirus, but some Queens restaurants and organizations are attempting to help residents navigate those challenges.
Here is a list of places in Queens that are currently offering free or discounted meals and also organizations that are offering grocery shopping services for vulnerable communities.
Located at 74-24 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights, Farine Baking Company announced that it would set up a table of small bags filled with free food items for “people in need, financially challenged, or just hungry and can’t afford to purchase.” The restaurant said that anyone who wanted to contribute to the table could do so.
In light of New York City public school closures, Farine is also offering free meals to children 12 and under with the purchase of a regular entree not on the specials menu. Kids have the choice of a burger, hot dog, macaroni and cheese and chicken fingers with a small mixed salad. The offer is available from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
This Whitestone Italian restaurant at 160-24 Willets Point Blvd. is offering a 50 percent discount on all food items on the menu, while supplies last. Starting on March 17 at 5 p.m., patrons can order food for pick up or delivery (excluding Grubhub). Orders must be paid in cash only. Restaurant owners will also give a free dessert to all doctors, nurses and first responders.
Invisible Hands was created by Simone, Liam, Mimi and Healy, “healthy 20-somethings in NYC” who lead a group of volunteers to bring groceries and supplies to those in “high-risk demographics.” The name derives from wanting to minimize as much direct contact in the delivery process as possible. Volunteers will get on the phone with those who request deliveries in order to get to know them and their needs.
Deliveries are open to residents in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey City and Riverdale. The organization also encourages people to volunteer to deliver groceries providing that volunteers “are feeling healthy, are displaying no symptoms, have not traveled out of the country or come in contact with a sick person in the past 14 days, AND HAVE BEEN PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING.”
This chicken restaurant at 248-43 Jericho Tpke. in Jamaica is doing its part to help the students affected by the public school shutdown. Beginning on March 17, the restaurant is serving free daily lunch to underprivileged children from noon to 2 p.m.
“We’re not asking you to purchase anything, we’re not looking for money, we’re not looking to make any profit. At a time like this, we want to give back to our community and give a helping hand to those who are less fortunate,” said Chicky’s in a statement.
This “no holds barred American comfort food” eatery in Astoria invites anyone to reach out if they “need help sourcing food and supplies. On its Instagram account, the restaurant at 36-18 30th Ave. said that it would be opening up its “supply lines and resources to the community” and encourages people to email Donnie at [email protected].
With restaurants in Queens and Long Island, the Bayside location 0f this Greek restaurant will offer free grab and go meals for pickup beginning on March 18. Avli will also make arrangements to deliver meals to elderly residents.
“We started offering free meals for the the community and to deliver free meals to the elderly because we are fortunate enough to have the resources and goods to do so,” said “Stephanie Koukounas. “We love this community and are humbled by the amount of people who have offered to donate and help as well. We hope that everyone spreads the love and kindness and also helps in any way they can during a time when everyone needs it.”
Pickup at Avli The Little Greek Cafe (38-29 Bell Blvd.) will be from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Avli The Little Greek Tavern (38-31 Bell Blvd.) Call 718-224-7575 or email [email protected] for more information.
This eatery, which specializes in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, is offering patrons a $5 falafel sandwich. They are available for contact-free and curbside pickup at 153-01 10th Ave. Order online at www.nanagoodeats.com or call 917-908-0444.
In partnership with LIC Relief, several Long Island City restaurants are offering “free nutritional meals on weekdays for students and families impacted by the school closures as well as any person in need or unable to secure a daily meal.” Organized by Patrick Thompson and Kelly Craig, LIC Relief will set up tables with ready meals in front of neighborhood restaurants beginning on Monday March 23 from noon to 2 p.m.
Participating restaurants include Piatto (1-50 50th Ave.), Vernon Grille (48-20 Vernon Blvd.), Centro Italian Kitchen (47-23 Vernon Blvd.), Little Chef, Little Cafe (5-43 48th Ave.), Bella Via (47-46 Vernon Blvd.) and Manducatis Rustica (46-35 Vernon Blvd. – Tuesday through Friday only at this location).
The organization is also delivering a minimum of 200 meals a day at the Queensbridge Housing area in partnership with Center of Hope International.
Panera Bread locations on Long Island and Queens are looking to spread some joy to parents and children staying home from school and practicing social distancing.
With every order from a Panera Bread location on Long Island or Queens, Panera will be including a Baker’s in Training Kit for parents and their little ones to decorate their own rainbow cookie. Each kit includes 1 sugar cookie, 2 cups of icing, a plastic knife and colored candy drops. Guests are asked add BIT KITto the comments section of their online order to receive a Bakers in Training kit!
Additionally, to spread the joy to the online community and look forward to a brighter tomorrow, Panera is asking parents to share their children’s artwork on social media using the hashtag #spreadtherainbow and tag @panerabread.
Panera will also be offering 25 percent off all delivery and Rapid Pick-Up orders with the code FIELD4051. Guests can order online at Panerabread.com or using the Panera Bread app.
Please let us know if you know of other restaurants and organizations that are helping keep Queens fed during this time. We will update this list regularly.