The New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park will be hosting Queens Together’s International Food Expo in November. Numerous Queens restaurants will be represented at this event, which is scheduled to run from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 9.
Attendees will have the opportunity to sample from and support the local restaurants taking part, while also contributing to Queens Together’s food relief efforts within the community. There will be unlimited tastings from over 40 different Queens restaurants and beverage companies. Additionally, there will be a cocktail bar hosted by Neir’s Tavern.
Money raised from this event will go to the restaurants, as well as Queens Together’s upcoming Thanksgiving food pantry distribution event, set to occur on Nov. 18 at the Culture Lab in Long Island City. Thanksgiving meals will be distributed to food pantries across the borough. According to Queens Together Director Jonathan Forgash, they hope to feed as many as 4,000 families through this.
Many of the restaurants and beverage companies selected for the International Food Expo were chosen in order to showcase the diversity of the people of Queens. Some of these include Hello! Bangladesh, Sybil’s, Fuzi Pasta Co., Lhasa Liang Fen, Punjabi Dhaba, Tito Rad’s, Zaab Zaab, Urban Vegan Roots, La Boulangerie de François, Taste of Surabaya, Mayahuel Bar & Restaurant and much more. More restaurants are still signing up to take part.
“The purpose of the event is two-fold,” Forgash said. “Queens Together always believes in celebrating [the borough’s] restaurants and helping to raise money for food relief and partner with these restaurants for relief. And we use that money to do food relief across the borough.”
Sponsors for the International Food Expo include Hydro-Québec, New York Mets owner Steve Cohen, Sysco and the New York Hall of Science. Sysco will also be providing the venue with biodegradable dining supplies for the International Food Expo. In addition to sponsoring the event, Hydro-Québec will also be hosting a Queens Clean Energy Symposium that same day from 5-8:30 p.m. in the Connected Worlds exhibit on the second floor.
Tickets for the International Food Expo are currently on sale on Queenstogether.org. While the cost is $100 per person, early-bird tickets are available at a discount of $75 until Oct. 26. In addition to the International Food Expo, tickets also grant access to the Clean Energy Symposium. Tickets for kids 12 years of age or younger are free. Don’t miss this night of delicious eating, doing good for the community and learning about clean energy solutions in the borough.
Queens Together is a 501c3 Restaurant-Driven Food Relief Organization that empowers local eateries to combat hunger in the borough. They work to provide culturally rich meals and groceries to neighbors in need, while also promoting business success and job stability. Since 2020, Queens Together has served meals and groceries to nearly 400,000 people, thanks to local restaurants, the USDA’s Farm to Family program and funding from public and private sources.
The organization started shortly after New York City was shut down due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forgash, who spent around 30 years as a chef, wanted to help support local restaurants at the time. He, along with other volunteers, began raising money on social media to pay restaurants to prepare to-go meals for frontline workers. It didn’t take long before they then pivoted towards helping to feed people who were out of work or immunocompromised. Since then, Forgash has overseen Queens Together’s rapid growth.
“We help support restaurants with resources and educate them to help them be successful,” Forgash said. “We do that in different languages, because Queens is a very diverse place. We partner with Red Cross to do food relief across the borough.”
Those who may not be able to attend the event but are still interested in donating can do so by going to expo.queenstogether.org/donate.