Queens councilman teams up with local community boards to distribute 55,000 meals

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Councilman Eric Ulrich (l.) and members of two community boards distribute more than 55,000 meals at their weekly food drive in Ozone Park. (Photo courtesy of Ulrich’s office)

In his effort to combat food insecurity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in southern Queens, Councilman Eric Ulrich has surpassed a milestone of 55,000 meals distributed at his weekly food drives.

Ulrich teamed up with GrowNYC’s Emergency Fresh Food Box program and two community boards back in May 2020 to provide the much-needed provisions.

“Unfortunately, almost a year after the pandemic devastated New York City, there are many people struggling to make ends meet. Unemployment is at an all-time high, and New Yorkers do not have access to basic life necessities, like food,” Ulrich said. “This ongoing partnership with GrowNYC, Community Board 9 and Community Board 10 has allowed us to help hundreds of families in need by providing quality, culturally sensitive meals to those impacted by COVID-19. I am proud of the great work we are doing and remain committed to helping my constituents during this uncertain time.”

While the emergency food community has shouldered much of the burden to keep people fed, the overwhelming demand for food, particularly in some of the city’s most impacted communities, is outpacing their ability. The lack of access to food, especially healthy food, has been exacerbated by social distancing requirements that made it impossible to operate many congregate meal outlets, such as soup kitchens, and require interventions to be quickly deployed.

“On behalf of Community Board 9, I would like to thank Council member Ulrich for letting us participate in this great endeavor,” Community Board 9 Chairman Kenichi Wilson said. “It has been such an experience to meet so many individuals that have been suffering from food insecurities during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to continuing the support and helping the community in ways needed.”

The Emergency Fresh Food Boxes distributed at Ulrich’s district office in Ozone Park are a practical option to provide struggling New Yorkers with healthy and nutritious food. Each box contains a variety of fruits, vegetables and two pantry items such as rice, beans or shelf-stable milk. Each box is designed to provide families with well-balanced nutritious meals every week.

“Community Board 10 has been pleased to partner with and work alongside Council member Ulrich to help get much-needed fresh and healthy food to people every week as they have been struggling through these difficult times to keep their families fed,” Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton said.

In addition to the Emergency Fresh Food Boxes, Ulrich’s office has also distributed crucial supplies such as face masks and hand sanitizer, at the weekly food drives which take place every Friday at 10 a.m. at 93-06 101st Ave. in Ozone Park.

For more information, contact the district office at 718-738-1083.

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