March 28, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Community leaders in Queens have come together to launch a new initiative to help support frontline medical staff who are battling the coronavirus.
The project, called “Fuel the Frontlines,” will provide thousands of cooked meals to medical workers throughout the borough’s nine acute-care hospitals for one week, starting Sunday.
The initiative, which was set up by the Queens Economic Development Corporation and the Queens Night Market – and is being fully funded by Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee – hopes to help shore up valuable time for medical workers who are treating patients infected by COVID-19.
“All across Queens, frontline workers and medical professionals are moving mountains around the clock with extraordinary acts of heroism, using all tools and resources available to save each and every single life,” she said.
“Queens is deeply grateful, and we know every single minute counts,” Lee said.
COVID-19 has killed more Queens residents than any other borough and the borough’s hospitals have been under tremendous pressure. As of Friday afternoon, there were 8,529 cases of the virus in Queens and 125 .
Around 250 meals for each hospital will be packaged into individual containers and can be heated and eaten at a worker’s convenience.
Queens Night Market vendors and small businesses enrolled in the QEDC’s Entrepreneur Space commercial kitchen incubator in Long Island City will prepare the meals and will be paid for them.The project will provide much-needed revenue for the businesses that are suffering economically as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown.
“We hope this project can provide some small businesses with a modest but important stream of revenue during these challenging economic times,” said Queens Night Market founder John Wang.
In total there are 12 small businesses participating. They include: Arepalicious of Ozone Park; Caribbean Street Eats; Cooking with Corey; Dotty’s Norwegian Kitchen; KINI of Long Island City; La’Maoli; Magnolia Café; The Malaysian Project; Quiaufa’s Kitchen; Roastnco of Forest Hills; Treat Yourself Jerk Chicken; and Two Tablespoons.
Organizers hope the venture will attract support from corporations or donors that will help fund the program beyond the initial one-week duration.
Anyone interested in contributing is asked to call 718-286-3000 or email [email protected], with the subject line “Fuel the Frontlines”.