July 19, 2022 By Christian Murray
More than 500 meals were donated to a veterans shelter in Long Island City last week through an initiative that brings Grubhub, local restaurants and community organizations together.
Council members Bob Holden and Julie Won joined representatives of Grubhub to donate 500 meals— prepared by the Maspeth restaurant O’Neill’s—to residents of the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence in Long Island City. The residence, which is managed by the Institute for Community Living, is New York City’s only shelter exclusively serving veterans experiencing homelessness.
The initiative is part of Grubhubs’ “Serving the City” program, where the company buys meals from restaurants and delivers them to communities in need across the City’s 51 council districts. The idea is to help local businesses in each council district, while addressing food insecurity.
Holden, who is chair of the council’s Veteran’s Committee, said that when he first visited the shelter, the residents asked him for better food. Holden said that while he is looking to solve the food quality problem on a long-term basis, he is glad to work with Grubhub in the interim to deliver tasty meals from O’Neill’s, one of his favorite restaurants.
Won said that she too has heard from shelter residents calling for better meals.
“We have heard from so many of our neighbors in the shelter systems seeking dignified housing solutions and nutritious, culturally competent meals,” Won said.
“I am thankful to join … Council Member Bob Holden at the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence to ensure that our veterans have access to healthy, delicious meals all while supporting O’Neill’s, a local restaurant, through this partnership. The least we could do to honor our veterans for serving our country is providing healthy, nourishing meals as they await permanent housing.”
Grubhub launched the “Serving the City” initiative in June and aims to donate 25,000 meals.
“This is a first of its kind program for Grubhub and launching in New York City—touching all five boroughs and partnering with every single city council member—is the perfect way to leverage our resources and address food insecurity for those in need,” said Brett Swanson, Grubhub’s Sr. Manager for Community Affairs and Social Impact. “To have the greatest impact, we’re going hyper-local, working with the city council members to understand specific needs in the community and then partner to address them.”
Deirdre O’Neill, proprietor of O’Neill’s, said she was proud to be part of the program.
“We are honored to be able in a small way to help the homeless veterans of Borden Avenue. O’Neill’s was established in 1933 and believes in always giving back to the community. My father, George O’Neill, served in the Army and was actually a cook during his time. I know that he would be very proud of what Grubhub and Bob Holden are doing for those that served our country.”