As the COVID-19 public health crisis has created even more demand for food pantries across the city, Queens Farm is continuing its work to feed New Yorkers through its annual food drive to support CUNY students.
The food drive began on Monday, Nov. 9, and will run through Thursday, Dec. 31, in partnership with the Queens College Knights Table Food Pantry to help feed food-insecure students.
Queens College President Frank Wu expressed his appreciation for Jennifer Weprin, executive director of Queens Farm, and her staff in support of the college’s food pantry.
“The services of the pantry — which provides food access for all CUNY students in need, free of stigma — are even more vital now as we continue to adapt to COVID-19-imposed challenges,” Wu said. “Our students benefit from both the tangible results of our partnership with the Queens Farm and the cooperative model that it provides — an approach that is needed now more than ever.”
Queens Farm is encouraging visitors, neighbors and the general public to stop by the Farm Store and drop off packaged, shelf-stable, healthy food to support CUNY students and their families.
“No one should go hungry. CUNY students represent the future of New York City. Together, Queens Farm and Queens College can feed tummies and feed minds,” said Weprin. “This food drive is an extension of our work to help feed New Yorkers. We invite the community to join us to serve those in need this season.”
In July, Timothy Hunter, chairperson of CUNY University Student Senate and Student Trustee of CUNY’s board of trustees, testified before the New York State Senate on the impact of COVID-19 on higher education.
Their testimony noted that according to the Healthy CUNY Survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 on CUNY students, levels of worry about running out of food due to lack of money were more than three times higher in 2020 than in 2018; students also cut or skipped meals due to lack of money at higher rates.
Additionally, they noted that students reported having gone hungry often or sometimes more frequently in 2020. According to the testimony, 70 percent of students reported a decrease in income for other members of their households and 54 percent reported a decrease in their own income due to the coronavirus.
Queens Farm is collecting donations of packaged, shelf-stable, healthy food including canned fish and lean meats; nut butters; soups and stews; whole grain bread; cereal and crackers; dried rice; noodles and pasta; oatmeal; canned or dried beans; sauces and gravy; packaged fruit and vegetables; and shelf-stable milk.
Expired food will not be accepted. Anyone interested in donating to support the food drive can stop by the Queens Farm Store during regular operating hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., from Nov. 9 through Dec. 31.
Queens Farm is closed on Christmas Day and is open until 2 p.m. on Dec. 24. Daily admission is free and the site is accessible.
For more information, visit QueensFarm.org.