Thursday, June 18, 2020
East Village volunteers expand their outreach to feed more neighbors in need
Text and photos by Stacie Joy
A team of East Village residents who recently formed East Village Loves Queens, a volunteer-run mission to help feed our neighbors in Queens, has branched out to also supplying meals to individuals and families in the East Village.
I stopped by to talk with Sasha Allenby, one of the founders, and to see the team’s work at its new location on Sixth Street.
How did it come about that East Village Loves Queens moved from Ali’s kitchen at C&B Cafe on Seventh Street to the Sixth Street Community Center? What’s the operation like at the new location?
We moved to Sixth Street when Ali’s shop was recently vandalized. Howard [Brandstein, executive director] was kind enough to open his doors to us. There is much more space at the Community Center so we can have more volunteers. We could only have a handful of people in C&B and still practice social distancing.
Since we have moved to the center, we have increased our numbers. At C&B we could make a maximum of 800 portions in a day. On a recent Sunday we made 2,000 portions, plus 500 sandwiches! With the extra space we are able to have several different production lines going.
How long do you plan to provide meals for East Village residents?
As long as our fundraising continues, then we will continue the project. We cook on Saturdays for the residents of Queens, and Tuesdays for East Village residents.
How many meals are you making and how often?
For the Hungry Monk project in Queens we make around 2,000-2,500 meals per week. For the East Village residents, we made 350 this [past] week. We made chicken parm with pasta, and summer vegetable pasta. We always try to have both a vegetarian and a meat-based option for local residents.
Where are you getting your supplies from? If folks wish to help, how best can they do that?
Restaurant Depot. However, some supplies are donated by local residents or businesses. Sunny and Annie’s, C&B Café, Kafana, and Tompkins Square Bagels have all donated to us.
If people want to help they can donate at this link or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any goods or services that they can offer. [East Village Loves Queens has just joined Instagram too.]
Previously on EV Grieve:
These East Village residents are helping feed families in Queens during the COVID-19 crisis
An art collaboration to help support the Sixth Street Community Center