BY BENJAMIN MANDILE
Medical professionals have been on the front lines working long hours to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, leading some healthcare professionals to not have the time to cook and enjoy a properly balanced meal, so one Queens entrepreneur has stepped up.
The owner and operator of Fuel Pax Food, a meal-preparation company has focused the company on providing “healthy” pre-packaged meals for these workers.
Both vegetarian and meat options are available, according to Fuel Pax Food founder and Queens resident Beverly Santi. Immune-booster shots have also been created and distributed.
The goal of the company, even outside of pandemic times, is offering people a healthy option and a cheaper option than prices in the city.
Santi started FPF late last year and has focused on charity initiatives in the past, including toy drives, food donations and an event for Thanksgiving.
The meal-prep company said it plans to continue donating food throughout the pandemic as long as it has funding and has set up a GoFundMe page to help offset costs.
It costs about $1,000 to create 100 meals of fresh food and FPF has spent out-of-pocket money as well to fund this effort. It has given 350 meals as of April 16.
FPF follows CDC guidelines including washing the food before it comes into the kitchen and leaving boxes and bags outside to protect its workers and the workers the meals are ultimately going to. This also includes “no-contact” delivery, meaning the delivery driver and the recipient don’t meet face to face but rather the driver texts the recipient when the food is left.
There are usually 10 people working for FPF, but the company has been working with a limited staff, with only four people currently involved.
As of Thursday morning recipients of the meal donations include the hospital at Rikers Island, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens and Jamaica Hospital. Kings County Hospital Center and NYU Winthrop are next on the company’s list to donate to.