Nov. 17, 2023 By Bill Parry
Queens Together, the restaurant-driven food relief organization that mobilized during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist thousands of families, will hold its third annual Thanksgiving food distribution event at Culture Lab LIC on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Queens Together is bringing together more than a hundred volunteers from the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens and the GPK Foundation students from the culinary program at Long Island City High School and The Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Astoria ,who will pack up 2,200 turkeys, 100 Kosher turkeys, 1,000 halal chickens and 375 pork butts to be distributed to local food pantries throughout the borough to feed 4,000 families.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Culture Lab LIC parking lot, located at 5-25 46th Ave., the same spot Queens Together used as its base of operations at the start of the pandemic shutdown.
The Thanksgiving food distribution event was made possible after Queens Together organized the International Food Expo at the New York Hall of Science that featured tasting stations from 38 Queens restaurants representing 29 nations.
“We are grateful to the Queens restaurant community, our sponsors and everyone who attended the Queens International Food Expo on Nov. 9. Together with Queens elected officials like Speaker Adrienne Adams, Council Member Julie Won, and state Senator Leroy Comrie, we raised enough money for our third annual Thanksgiving food relief program,” Queens Together Executive Director Jonathan Forgash said. “Last Thanksgiving we delivered enough food to help 3,000 families and this year we will be helping 4,000 families eat well this holiday.”
Forgash spent 30 years as a chef, and wanted to help support local restaurants in the early days of the shutdown. Since 2020, Queens Together has served meals and provided groceries to nearly 400,000 people, thanks to restaurants, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to Family program and funding from public and private sources.