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Photo courtesy of South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS)
City Councilmembers Peter Koo (second from right) and Daniel Dromm volunteer at the South Asian Food Pantry in December 2019.

The South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS) in Flushing announced its office will be closed from Tuesday, March 16, until Friday, March 27, to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus to its clients, staff and volunteers. 

In a statement, SACSS Executive Director Sudha Acharya said staff members will be working remotely to continue to assist clients. Last week, the organization’s South Asian Food Pantry served over 300 families. 

SACSS’ South Asian Food Pantry addresses food shortage and hunger in the community by providing South Asian food items such as staples, pulses and spices to those who are eligible and have registered for the service. 

However, after monitoring the occurrences of the past few days and the latest guidelines from the mayor’s office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SACSS has decided to suspend pantry services for the next two weeks. 

“We apologize for the inconvenience this causes to our community members,” Acharya said. “However, we are taking this step to ensure the safety of our clients, staff and volunteers.” 

At the end of next week, Acharya said, SACSS will evaluate the situation and decide when to reopen the pantry. 

“We hope you’re taking care of yourselves in these trying times. We will continue to keep you updated as the situation changes and remain committed to providing services in an alternative way,” Acharya said.

For those who need assistance with health insurance or any other benefits, contact SACSS at 718-321-7929 or email sacss@sacssny.org. SACSS multilingual individual and support group counseling services are also being offered over the phone and in-person activities such as English and computer classes and senior day programming have been suspended for now. 

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