An idea that hasn’t been tried yet in Staten Island during this pandemic is that of the “pop-up food pantry.” There is one occurring tomorrow morning at 3665 Hylan Blvd. Everyone is welcome, no proof of income is required, and you can get a week’s supply of food. Hopefully there will be more of these pop-up food banks in the coming weeks so that Staten Islanders can keep their families fed.
In order to attend the food bank, you must wear a mask and gloves, and practice social distancing. If you are unable to attend, they were arranging food deliveries, but will be assessing delivery availability the day of the event.
If you are planning to come to the pantry, please be sure to bring a bag or a box with you.
The organizer of the pop-up food pantry, Chris Haynes, told StatenIslander.org, “I said to my wife we have to do something…to help Staten Island. It’s a tough time right now; it’s not an easy time for everybody. So, we came up with the idea, and it took off, big time. Friends and family have been making donations, we even got donations from as far as Florida sent to us. So, I hope it goes over well tomorrow, that’s what I hope.”
The Holy Family Food Pantry is also open, by appointment only, for Staten Island residents. People wishing to pick up food for themselves and their families can call the rectory and arrange a convenient time by calling (718) 761-6663. The secretary will come to the food pantry and put together a package of food for pick up.
Holy Family is also hosting a food drive this coming Thursday the 14th, at 1pm-4pm at the Holy Family location in Westerleigh. Donations of canned foods and other non-perishable items can be brought for distribution to families in need. In recent weeks, the food pantry has been running very low due to the high need, so these food drives are necessary to replenish the supplies.
New York City’s GetFood Programs
In addition to this food bank, there are several new locations for the NYC Grab-And-Go food program. 300 Richmond Terrace and Curtis High School have just been added as new food sites. Everyone is welcome, and it is between the hours of 7:30am and 1:30pm daily.
No one will be turned away at any time, and people of all ages are welcome. This is not just for school children, but for everyone. Special dietary requirements are also available, such as Halal and Vegetarian, and now Kosher at some locations. You can pick up a package each day, with three meals in it (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
Check the Meal Hub to locate a place near you to pick up the grab-and-go meals.
The City of New York also has other options, especially for those who cannot leave their homes due to the pandemic, whether because they are sick or because they are disabled, and for some reason cannot use private food delivery services, NYC will arrange to bring food to you.
Check out the Covid-19 Food Assistance website for many of the different options for getting food assistance in New York City.
You can also check out the Food Bank of NYC website for other options.
New York City, to be fair, is doing its best to help New Yorkers to remain fed and sheltered during the Pause ordered by the governor. As far as clothed, that’s a different story, as there are no clothing stores open, many places not accepting donations other than food that normally do (such as Vietnam Veterans of America and Seventh Day Adventist Church), and no clothing being distributed (except by Assertive Kids Foundation, which is still delivering clothing to families in need).