Queens lawmaker vows to fight for food pantry funds from state budget

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As New York continues to face new issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, state Senator Joseph Addabbo wants to ensure that our city’s essential services, especially food pantries, are allowed to operate normally.

That is why Addabbo is urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to immediately release the funding for food pantries serving the most neediest individuals, including the $5 million in the 2020 budget’s Special Public Health Emergency Appropriation Account earmarked for the Metropolitan New York Coordinating Council of Jewish Poverty, better known as Met Council.

Met Council continues to service its 225,000 existing clients and 40regular food pantries while mobilizing emergency food to thousands of additional families facing new financial hardships during the coronavirus emergency.

“Met Council has been a dedicated community partner for many years, helping low-income New Yorkers receive the food and nutrition they need and deserve,” Addabbo said. “We are facing extraordinary circumstances right now, and we need to make sure that organizations like Met Council are able to provide for their clients when they need it most. I am working to get the governor to release the funds that will allow Met Council to continue to serve their clients throughout this pandemic.”

During this time, Met Council has even worked out a pilot program partnership with the ride share service Uber to deliver Kosher food directly to the homes of 500 homebound Holocaust survivors.

“I have worked with Met Council for almost 20 years, and I am still amazed at the number of people they help on a daily basis,” Addabbo said. “We need to come together as a community to make sure that we provide for the most vulnerable of us. I will continue to fight until these funds are released to Met Council.”

Meanwhile, Addabbo is reminding governmental offices that they must not lose sight of quality of life concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. Although many agencies have been depleted staff due to the state’s social distancing orders, Addobbo has been working with the National Parks Service and the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to clean up problem areas throughout his district.

“I have heard from some of my constituents that there has been an increase in garbage piling up at Charles Park in Howard Beach, and I have been in touch with the National Parks Service to get that situation remedied,” Addabbo said. “I also contacted DSNY regarding a burnt abandoned car that needs removal within the district.”

“I appreciate the efforts of all our government workers, as they perform their duties and maintain a work standard with a much depleted staff. While we are all responsibly quarantining we cannot forget the quality of life for our constituents. I will continue to work with our dedicated government agencies to ensure that our quality of life remains while we fight the coronavirus and protect New Yorkers,” he added.

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