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Richmond Hill organization receives $1K grant from Spectrum to support community food pantry program

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Spectrum employee Cindy Jagesser presents a $1,000 check to Mohamed Q. Amin, executive director of the Caribbean Equality Project, at Spectrum’s store in Queens Village on April 8. (Photo courtesy of Spectrum)

The Caribbean Equality Project, a community-based organization in Richmond Hill that represents Black and brown LGBTQ+ Caribbean immigrants in New York City, received a $1,000 donation from Spectrum to support its COVID-19 Relief and Resilience Food Justice program to help local families in southeast Queens.

On April 8, Mohamed Amin, executive director of the Caribbean Equality Project, was presented with a check at Spectrum’s store in Queens Village, located at 220-09 Hillside Ave. The donation was made through Spectrum’s national community philanthropic program, Spectrum Employee Community Grants, which has provided funding to more than 315 local nonprofits in 31 states throughout the company’s service area since its inception in July 2019.

The Caribbean Equality Project’s hyper-local culturally responsive pop-up food pantry service is one of the largest programs at the organization, Amin said. 

“The pandemic uprooted our lives, so we immediately shifted priorities to meet the emerging needs of the southeast Queens community, including food insecurity, by creating a space to provide groceries, fresh produce and COVID-19 resources — an inclusive food pantry for all,” Amin said. “Our work continues thanks to our gracious volunteers and partners, and our focus remains on empowering and advocating for Caribbean LGBTQ+ immigrant voices and the larger Caribbean-American population in NYC.”

The Caribbean Equality Project was founded in 2015 by Amin in response to anti-LGBTQ+ hate in Richmond Hill. Through public education, community organizing, civic engagement, storytelling, and cultural and social programming, the organization’s work focuses on advocacy for LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights, gender equity, racial justice, immigration and mental health services, and ending hate violence in the Caribbean diaspora.

The organization was selected by Spectrum based on the nomination and volunteer work of company employee Cindy Jagesser, a field operations department assistant. Jagesser, a resident of Ozone Park, has volunteered with the organization for several years and helps with the pop-up food pantries and fundraising events.

Jagessar says she hopes the grant will help further the organization’s mission and provide even more assistance to families in need.

“I’m proud to be a Spectrum employee and have the opportunity to participate in the Spectrum Employee Community Grant program to support communities through local nonprofits such as the Caribbean Equality Project, an organization that is close to my heart,” Jagesser said. “Having watched this organization grow from the ground up, I am happy to see the incredible impact it has in the community I call home.”

Rahman Khan, vice president of community impact for Spectrum, said they’re proud to support vital community organizations with which their local employees are already volunteering their time and talent. 

“Together, we’re building stronger communities where our customers and employees live and work across America,” Khan said. 

Recipients of the Spectrum Employee Community Grant program deliver critical social services, helping underserved residents meet basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing, job training and neighborhood safety. Each awardee is nominated by one of the company’s 96,000 U.S. employees who has volunteered with the organization for at least one year.

Spectrum sponsors several philanthropic programs in addition to Spectrum Employee Community Grants.

Those programs include Spectrum Digital Education, which supports local nonprofits engaged in digital literacy through grants and in-kind resources; Spectrum Scholars, a scholarship for under-represented college juniors in financial need; and the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund, which supports small and minority-owned businesses whose goods and services help meet core needs in financially underserved communities within the company’s footprint. 

For more information about Spectrum’s philanthropic initiatives, click here.

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