These New York City restaurants are offering free grab-and-go meals

Seven restaurants in Long Island City, Queens have committed to providing free grab-and-go meals on weekdays, amid news that Queens is now considered the epicenter of New York City’s pandemic.

Outreach organization LIC Relief is working with the restaurants to provide meals to those financially impacted by the health crisis. It is also trying to keep businesses afloat by providing information on how customers can order food and beverages online or even donate.

“Beginning Monday, March 23, we are partnering with local restaurants to provide free nutritional meals on weekdays for students and families impacted by the school closures as well as any person in need or unable to secure a daily meal,” LIC Relief said in an announcement. “Meals will be available from 12:00pm – 2:00 pm. Look for the LIC RELIEF table just inside the restaurant and simply pick up a meal.”

The restaurants include Piatto, Blend on Vernon, Centro Italian Kitchen, Vernon Grille, Manetta’s, Bella Via and Little Chef, Little Cafe.

Despite not being the most populous of the city’s five boroughs nor the most densely populated, Queens’ workforce demographic likely explains why the borough has the high number of COVID-19 cases, according to NY1. Many workers considered “essential” by the city government reside there.

“These are folks who cannot stay at home,” Dr. Sandra Albrecht, an assistant professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, told the station. “And even as the cases soar in the city, they have to continue taking the subway, they have to continue going to work.”

To support residents in the borough, LIC Relief is currently collecting donations to continue providing free meals. For each meal a restaurant provides, LIC Relief gives $5 in relief to a local business. The organization’s goal is to provide meals until New York City schools reopen. Click here to donate to this important cause.

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