Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens’ new Astoria facility to include state-of-the-art teaching kitchen

Kids in Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens kitchen
Kids use a temporary kitchen at the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Astoria. (Photo courtesy of Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens)

In a neighborhood known for some of the best international cuisine options in the city, from Greek tavernas to Middle Eastern and fine Italian restaurants, many of the children who grow up in Astoria don’t have access to proper food or knowledge on how to prepare meals. That’s about to change.

The Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens announced it will have a new teaching kitchen to provide food choice education to thousands of youth, made possible by a $1.25 million grant from the Grubhub Community Fund.

The kitchen is part of a long-term partnership with Grubhub to provide food-choice education to the 4,000 young people the club serves. The grant provides $500,000 for the new state-of-the-art teaching kitchen in Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens’ new building, which is slated to open in 2026 and $750,000 for program support for operations and educational programming. The kitchen will be about 1,000 square feet with refrigerators, an oven, and all the accouterments to allow students to learn about healthy food options and how to cook them.

Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens kitchen
Photo courtesy of Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens

Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens CEO Costa Constantinides thanked Grubhub for the critical investment in the future of the neighborhood’s children, many who live at the Astoria, Ravenswood, and Queensbridge Houses.

“Not far from our club is a food desert where access to healthy fruits and vegetables are limited,” Constantinides said. “The Grubhub Community Fund grant will allow our children access to healthy foods and teach them how to prepare them at home in a state-of-the-art space. This partnership over the next decade will bear the fruit of providing children with the knowledge necessary to make good food choices, making them healthier, and teaching their families how to be healthier. Our children will be grateful to Grubhub for years to come.”

Walter Sanchez, president of the board of directors at Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens, is grateful for the $1.245 million grant.

“The Grubhub gift to our kids is a great example of New York philanthropy,” Sanchez said. “Grubhub’s support is a gain for our most vulnerable population.”