Last Wednesday, they hosted a pop-up food distribution event at the Catholic Charities Therese Cervini Early Childhood Development Center in Corona.
The group prepared 750 bags full of fresh fruits and vegetables, beverages and non-perishable goods for families and individuals to “grab and go.” The food was enough to feed a family of three for three days, the organization said.
The bags contained items like apples, oranges, bread, Gatorade, apple juice, rice, cans of fruit, tuna fish, cereals and black beans.
“Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens was privileged to serve 750 families today,” said Richard Slizeski, senior vice president of the Office of Mission in CCBQ. “The need is very great, obviously, due to the economic impact of not having jobs.”
According to the organization, 60 percent of COVID-19 cases in New York City are located in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
“We chose here in Corona really to give an opportunity to the community,” he added, “and to be able to serve them in this time of great need.”
CCBQ has provided pop-up food pantries, access to supportive services via its call centers and behavioral health services through telehealth.
In the past week, the group has seen a 50 percent increase in the need for hot meals to be delivered to isolated seniors. On average, the agency distributes 5,000 meals.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Catholic Charities is delivering 8,000 meals per week.
Food pantry distributions have also increased 20 percent across 20 parish-based food pantries, CCBQ said. On average, the agency distributes 83,000 meals per month within its food pantry network.
“Part of this whole thing has been to really help people out,” Slizeski said.