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Courtesy of Jennifer Shannon
A 'Thank you' flier will be placed on the delivery bags reflecting the donors each week.

A group of College Point residents have spearheaded an initiative to recognize local essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, while also helping families who are in need of food. 

On Tuesday, May 5, the group was scheduled to bring lunches to 125 employees at Waterview Nursing Home, located at 119-15 27th Ave. between 1 and 1:30 p.m. The meals are being donated by Genaro’s Pizzeria and Restaurant. 

“When one of the organizers [Margaret Loughlin] reached out to the administrator at Waterview to let her know what we were doing, the administrator cried and said, ‘Thank you,’ because the essential workers in the nursing homes are never mentioned,” said organizer Jennifer Shannon. 

The group will also deliver meals to two nursing homes in Flushing: The Woodcrest Nursing Home at 119-09 26th Ave., and The Cliffside Nursing Home at 119-19 Graham Ct. 

The community outreach effort is organized by Jennifer Shannon, Cathy Shannon, James and Kathryn Cervino, and Margaret Loughlin. The initiative is sponsored by A Better College Point, Coastal Preservation Network, Margaret Loughlin Homes, Genaro’s Pizzeria, and Councilman Paul Vallone. 

Through its GoFundMe page, the group is raising money to provide lunch to the three largest nursing homes in College Point. The funds will also be used to purchase food for the community’s only active food pantry, which is serving many more individuals as a result of COVID-19. 

According to Shannon, while organizing the event, Rev. Msgr. Denis Herron, pastor of St. Fidelis Church at 123-14 14th Ave. in College Point, released a video on Facebook with a plea for help to restock the food pantry.

The group reached out to Herron to inquire more details about what the pantry needs, Shannon said. They are awaiting to hear back from Herron. 

Depending on the level of support the group receives, they will expand their thank-you meals to the College Point FDNY Engine 297/Ladder 130 and to other essential workers of College Point. 

“Our goal is to bring more restaurants on board and to raise more money through the GoFundMe page in order to pay the small businesses something to help them out as well,” the group said. 

 Genaro and Shannon are launching the community outreach project this week. 

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