14 THE QUEENS COURIER • APRIL 2, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Woodbine off ers Ridgewood community free food pantry, mutual aid resources
BY ANGÉLICA ACEVEDO
Woodbine, Ridgewood’s volunteer-run
experimental hub, is off ering resources
and services to the community during the
coronavirus health emergency.
Woodbine has partnered with Hungry
Monk, a New York City-based homeless
outreach and community response vehicle,
to open a food pantry.
“Normally, our space functions as a cultural
and community hub, and a space for
organizing,” said Matt Peterson, an organizer
at Woodbine. “But we mostly hosted
events, like Sunday dinners, co-working,
we also helped start community garden
— but all of that ended. We had to
stop due to the pandemic.”
But Peterson said that part of their mission
is to fi nd innovative ways to organize
and connect with their neighbors and fi gure
out how to help each other — and a
food pantry is one of those ways they can
have immediate impact.
Food distribution will take place outside
of their space, located at 1882 Woodbine
St. in Ridgewood, Wednesdays and
Fridays at 10 a.m. Woodbine will focus
on providing fresh produce while Hungry
Monk will provide dry and canned food
on Tuesdays, Th ursdays and Saturdays.
Th ey are pre-bagging food items so
that people can pick up and go easily
while maintaining social distancing precautions.
Th eir selection of food will change
every day and week, depending on what
they receive. For instance, their fi rst pickup
bags on Friday, March 27 each had
potatoes, caulifl ower, kale, basil, bread,
two boxed salads, green sauce, banana
bread with walnuts, and a dark chocolate
Woodbine is also off ering home-distribution
of food and supplies for those
in the Ridgewood area who are currently
experiencing coronavirus symptoms,
or who are otherwise unable to pick up
food on site.
Peterson added that they hope to bring
back their annual Summer Farm Share
events, which take place on Saturdays
from June to October, and will partner
again with Rock Steady, a cooperative
farm in Millerton, New York. Th ey’ve
been hosting the summer and winter
community-supported agriculture since
“We think there will still be a need for
people to purchase fresh food and help
our local farmers,” Peterson said.
Woodbine also launched a new Mutual
Aid section on their website, in order
to highlight the local information and
resources that the community may need
— including the names and contact information
of their elected offi cials.
In fact, Woodbine is currently advocating
for rent to be canceled.
“We started talking to a lot of our
neighbors and one of the big things we’ve
heard is that many people aren’t working,”
Peterson said. “Lots of New Yorkers live
paycheck to paycheck and this has been
going on for two to three weeks now. We
saw there’s a lot of other relief like eviction
and mortgage moratorium, but Cuomo
left rent a bit vague.”
Peterson said they’ve contacted their
local offi cials, and was glad to hear that
Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris
is working on legislation to suspend rent
for residential and commercial tenants for
90 days; Congresswoman Grace Meng is
introducing a similar bill to provide relief
for the duration of the pandemic.
But they believe it’s ultimately up to
Gov. Andrew Cuomo to suspend rent
before April 1. On Monday, March 30,
Cuomo said he doesn’t support the measure.
“A mortgage moratorium only works
for a certain class. Even with an eviction
moratorium, you’re putting people in a
bad position, because a lot of tenants live
near or in the same building as their landlord,”
Peterson said. “Legislative action
would solve a lot of issues, like the national
rent strike that people are organizing.
Rather than get to that point, it would
be better for Cuomo to off er that relief to
For Ridgewood residents who want to
take advantage of Woodbine’s services or
for more information, visit their website
‘Fuel the Frontlines’ initiative will support Queens hospital workers
BY BENJAMIN MANDILE
“Fuel the Frontlines,” a Queens-based
initiative to feed hospital workers in
Queens, will bring pre-cooked meals to
those working to fi ght the coronavirus.
Th e joint-initiative organized by the
Queens borough president’s office,
Entrepreneur Space and Queens Night
Market will deliver thousands of meals
over the course of a week starting Sunday,
A total of 250 meals, which can be
refrigerated and eaten at workers’ convenience,
will be delivered to each hospital
and will be packaged individually.
“Th e COVID-19 pandemic has produced
two-front battles waged by heroic
frontline workers and business owners,”
said acting Queens Borough President
Sharon Lee. “‘Fuel the Frontlines’ is one
hyper-local yet immediate step to support
those trying to stem the tide and bend
the curves of this unprecedented public
health and economic crisis.”
Meals will be prepared by small businesses
either enrolled in the Queens
Economic Development Corporation’s
Entrepreneur Space or the Queens Night
Market, with many meals being delivered
by the Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey to local hospitals.
Participating vendors of QEDC and
Queens Night Market initiative include
Arepalicious of Ozone Park: www.arepalicious.
Caribbean Street Eats: @caribbeanstreeteats
Cooking with Corey: www.cookingwithcorey.
Dotty’s Norwegian Kitchen: www.pinkys.
KINI of Long Island City: www.eatkini.
Magnolia Café: @magnoliacafepf
Th e Malaysian Project: www.themalaysianproject.
Quiaufa’s Kitchen: @chefsherriscatering
Roastnco of Forest Hills: www.roastnco.
Treat Yourself Jerk Chicken: www.
By using local businesses,
the initiative strives to help not
only those working in hospitals,
but also small businesses,
many of which are struggling
during this pandemic.
Unemployment claims fi led
last week were historic, with about 80,000
claims fi led in New York state and 3.28
million nationwide in the week ending
Th e initiative comes at a time when
Queens hospitals, most notably NYC
Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, are facing
a surge in the amount of COVID-19 cases
coming through their doors.
Queens hospitals are currently
“under-bedded” with 1.66
beds per 1,000 resident
a n d
n i n e
acute care hospitals serving 2.34 million
residents, according to a fi scal year budget
response sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s offi ce.
“Queens is by far the most under-bedded
borough in the city,” Lee wrote in
the Queens Borough Board’s response to
the mayor’s fi scal year 2021 preliminary
Photo via Getty Images
Photo courtesy of Woodbine