Queens elected officials partner with Grubhub to donate meals to veterans

Grubhub's Serving the City program
Elected officials partner with local restaurant to donate 500 meals to homeless veterans at the Institute for Community Living’s Borden Avenue Veterans Residence in Long Island City. (Photo by Kevin Ryan)

Council members Robert Holden and Julie Won joined Grubhub’s Serving the City program to donate 500 meals from O’Neill’s in Maspeth to local veterans.

The generous donation of meals went to the Institute for Community Living’s Borden Avenue Veterans Residence in Long Island City, which is the only shelter in the city exclusively serving veterans experiencing homelessness.

Grubhub's Serving the City program
Residents at the Borden Avenue shelter enjoying meals from O’Neill’s. (Photo by Kevin Ryan)

Holden, the chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Veterans, said that when he first visited the Borden Avenue shelter, the residents requested better food. Holden said that while he is working for a more long-term solution to this problem, he is happy to partner with Grubhub to deliver meals from one of his favorite local restaurants.

“As chair of the Veterans Committee, I am working every day to improve the lives of New York City’s veterans,” Holden said. “The city needs to be more responsive to the housing, education and economic needs of our former service members.”

Won also said that she has heard from so many of her neighbors in shelters that they seek “nutritious, culturally competent meals.”

“I am thankful to join the chair of the Veterans Committee, Council member Bob Holden, at the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence to ensure that our veterans have access to healthy, delicious meals all while supporting O’Neill’s, a local restaurant, through this partnership,” Won said. “The least we could do to honor our veterans for serving our country is providing healthy, nourishing meals as they await permanent housing.”

Grubhub has recognized that with the recent hike in grocery prices, food insecurity has risen across the country and impacting millions of New Yorkers. The “Serving the City” program was launched in June and will run for 16 weeks to deliver over 25,000 meals to communities in need across all five boroughs.

“This is a first-of-its-kind program for Grubhub and launching in New York City – touching all five boroughs and partnering with every single City Council member — is the perfect way to leverage our resources and address food insecurity for those in need,” said Grubhub’s Senior Manager for Community Affairs and Social Impact Brett Swanson.

The program works alongside City Council members to help identify locations in need of meal distribution. New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said that food insecurity remains a challenge for many New Yorkers. 

“Grubhub’s new Serving the City initiative will bring together elected officials, local eateries and residents to deliver meals to those who need it most,” Adams said. 

Not only does this program benefit those facing food insecurity, but also the local businesses still recovering from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deirdre O’Neill, the proprietor of O’Neill’s, said that she is proud to help her community.

“We are honored to be able to help the homeless veterans of Borden Avenue in a small way,” O’Neill said. “O’Neill’s was established in 1933 and believes in always giving back to the community. My father, George O’Neill, served in the Army and was actually a cook during his time. I know that he would be very proud of what Grubhub and Bob Holden are doing for those that served our country.”