Queens Village’s Martin Van Buren High School launches digital cookbook to support families during COVID-19 pandemic

Photo by Brian Greenspan

Martin Van Buren High School in Queens Village is raising money to help students and families hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic through its collaborative digital cookbook. 

The Martin Van Buren High School Alumni Alliance in partnership with Commonpoint Queens launched its “Give Hope to Help” initiative and the MVBHS Comfort Food Cookbook.

The project resulted in an exceptional collection of 168 special recipes, representing 60 countries — submitted by teachers, administration, students, parents and alumni showcasing the incredibly diverse community in the “World’s Borough.”

Steve Wilson, MVBHS alum and president of the Martin Van Buren Alumni Alliance, said the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on MVB students and staff led the alliance to quickly mobilize to find a way to help show their support for those who were struggling the most. 

“We wanted to not just help to raise desperately needed funds to assist MVB families, but also to galvanize the community behind this effort, giving hope to those in desperate need,” Wilson said. “We also wanted to create something that would both honor our diverse community and share in our rich cultures.”

According to Wilson, they’re proud to serve the school in many capacities, but this issue in particular stands out due to the pain and suffering they hope to help alleviate. 

“We created this cookbook to raise money and awareness of the collective plight of the Queens community-at-large and the Van community. We recognize even when the virus has finally retreated, many financial, physical and psychological scars will remain and this undertaking is one small thing we as individuals can do to help those most impacted by the COVID crisis,” Wilson said. 

Wilson said he is grateful to Commonpoint Queens for partnering with the school on the project helping to provide emergency cash assistance to Van students and families — including everything else they do at Van Buren such as attendance interventions, mental health counseling, community service opportunities and mentoring. 

“From day one of Commonpoint Queens’ partnership with Martin Van Buren, the school’s administration welcomed us. Our collaborations on many joint initiatives have improved not only the 500+ students participating in our five programs currently at MVB but also the overall success of the larger school community,” said Heather Liverpool, community school director. 

The Van Buren Alumni Alliance is asking the community to join them alongside their partners, Commonpoint Queens and People’s Bank, as they help their neighbors far and wide travel the world from their kitchen. 

Copies of the e-cookbook are available at www.mvbhsaa.comInterested corporate partners can contact Steve Wilson at mvbhsalumns@gmail.com.