Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee today announced a second extension and expansion of “Fuel the Frontlines,” the joint initiative in partnership with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) and the Queens Night Market to provide thousands of freshly-prepared, individually-packaged and ready-to-go meals to hospital workers, EMS workers and now MTA bus operators on the frontlines battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally a one-week initiative funded by Borough President Lee to support a dozen local small food service businesses and workers across Queens’ nine hospitals, “Fuel the Frontlines” has now extended cumulatively to two months and expanded to serve first responders and MTA workers, while partnering with an additional dozen small businesses. See the full distribution list of the over 8,000 “Fuel the Frontlines” meals prepared and delivered thus far to frontline workers in the past four weeks, updated daily: www.queensbp.org/fuel-the-frontlines.
The additional extension pulls “Fuel the Frontlines” through Friday, May 22 and expands the meal deliveries to hundreds of MTA workers across five Queens bus depots. The extensions have been made possible due to generous contributions ranging from $5 to $40,000 from numerous individual and corporate donors, including from Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park — bringing the total amount of funds raised to more than $88,000 since the launch of the initiative on March 29.
“Queens is deeply grateful to all the partners who have made this two-month extension possible in support of small business, frontline and essential workers here in the Borough of Families, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Borough President LEE. “It’s a hyper-local, collaborative effort to stem the tide and bend the curves of this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. This virus has left very few unscathed, and every effort counts in this race against time.”
“On behalf of Resorts World Casino New York City, I want to thank the doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, hospital staff and all of the frontline responders for their heroism and the sacrifices they are making for our community. During these challenging and unforgiving times, they serve as an inspiration to us all and we are committed to supporting them as they keep New York moving forward,” said Resorts World Casino New York State President ROBERT DESALVIO. “Resorts World is proud to partner with QEDC’s Entrepreneur Space, the Queens Night Market and the many small businesses and vendors who are working hard to fuel the frontlines. The importance of community matters more now than ever before, and we are fortunate to be part of one in Queens that strongly supports one another.”
Individually packaged meals will continue to be prepared by small businesses either enrolled in QEDC’s innovative Entrepreneur Space (E-Space) commercial kitchen incubator in Long Island City or vendors who participate in the seasonal Queens Night Market in Flushing Meadows Corona Park — some of whom will continue to prepare meals at Kommissary, a commercial kitchen in Long Island City.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will continue to transport many of the meals to the hospitals. Both QEDC and the Queens Night Market will continue to waive any administrative costs associated with the “Fuel the Frontlines” initiative for participating small businesses.
“Fuel the Frontlines” aims to both support the tireless medical professionals working long, difficult hours on the frontlines, while also supporting Queens’ small businesses facing severe economic disruption stemming from social distancing measures taken to combat the public health crisis. Unemployment claims have reached historic levels over the last four weeks, with more than 1.4 million claims filed in New York State and more than 26 million filed nationwide between the weeks ending March 21 and April 18, according to the federal Department of Labor.
“Fuel the Frontlines” hopes to continue inspiring subsequent funding commitments from corporate and individual sponsors in order to extend or expand the initiative. To make a monetary, tax-deductible donation in support of “Fuel the Frontlines,” visit www.queensbp.org/fuel-the-frontlines.