Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens served 750 families at its Pop-Up Food Distribution on April 8 in Corona.
The grab-and-go style event was held at the Catholic Charities Therese Cervini Early Childhood Development Center located at 35-33 104th St. in Corona, an area which has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Individuals were given bags of food that will feed a family of three for three days.
Catholic Charities prepared 750 bags which included an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, beverages and nonperishable goods.
Some additional items consisted of apples, oranges, lemons, raisins, bread, Gatorade, apple juice, instant coffee, rice, cans of fruit, tuna fish, peanut butter, microwavable macaroni and cheese, cereals, packets of mayonnaise and jelly, applesauce and black beans.
Catholic Charities also provided access to additional assistance, information, and resources. About 60 percent of the coronavirus cases in New York City are located in the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn.
“The need is very great, obviously, due to the economic impact of not having jobs,” said Richard Slizeski, senior vice president, Office of Mission, Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens. “We chose here in Corona, right here at the Therese Cervini Early Childhood Development Center, at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, really to give an opportunity to the community, and to be able to serve them in this time of great need.”
“Part of this whole thing has been to really help out people,” Slizeski added.
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens is responding to the hardworking families in the primarily immigrant neighborhood by providing pop-up food pantries, access to supportive services via its call center and behavioral health services via telehealth.
In the past week, Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens has seen a 50 percent increase in the need for hot meals to be delivered to isolated seniors. On average, the agency distributes 5,000 meals, but as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Catholic Charities is delivering 8,000 meals weekly.
Food pantry distributions have also increased. On average, the agency distributes 83,000 meals per month within its food pantry network. Last week Catholic Charities saw a 20 percent increase across its 20 parish-based food pantries.
The Pop-Up Food Distribution is organized and funded by Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens as a direct response to neighbors in need in both boroughs.