Difference Makers: Local Chefs Come Together To Feed Queens Hospital Workers

Marla Diamond
March 31, 2020 - 3:00 pm

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Local chefs are banding together to feed busy medical workers at Queens hospitals.

The weeklong initiative "Fuel the Frontlines" is being spearheaded by Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee.

"Short of us procuring PPEs (personal protective equipment) and ventilators, and all that, it's the least we can do without getting in the way, but also fighting the two-front war," Lee said. "We need to give hope, at the very least, that is my ultimate job right now."

Lee said the war is being fought in the hospitals and at small businesses suffering the economic impact of the shutdown.

"We're trying to stave off a depression, we're trying to support the small businesses, if it means keeping them afloat for just a little bit longer to try to weather this storm," Lee said.

John Wang, founder of the popular Queens Night Market, says over 60 of his vendors have pitched in to send up to 250 meals a day to the nine hospitals in Queens. 

Wang said when they put out the call within 48 hours the 60 vendors agreed to be a part of it.

"I know that healthcare workers probably don't have the time to go through a menu and ordering something fun to eat. Maybe there is a five minute break where they're like, 'Oh, I remember going to the queens night market and I remember this vendor and it was great,'" Wang said.

The meals will be transported to each hospital by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The borough president's office is funding the effort now, but is looking for a private donor to keep it going.

Potential sponsors can call 718-286-3000 or email info@queensbp.org with the subject line “Fuel the Frontlines”.

The initiative comes as Queens hospitals are experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients, most notably at Elmhurst Hospital.

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