Photo Courtesy of Queens Together
By Michael V. Cusenza
If you look closely, you can see some positives emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.
Queens Together, which was established in March as part of the Feed the Frontlines initiative to help nourish underserved communities and healthcare workers who were treating coronavirus patients around the clock in area hospitals, has just become a nonprofit membership organization for food-related businesses, the Queens Economic Development Corporation announced Thursday.
Based in Astoria but serving the entire borough, Queens Together will operate like a trade association, providing advocacy, education, savings, marketing, and income opportunities to members.
Queens Together membership fees are $329 a year. Chef and business leader Jonathan Forgash will head the new organization. He said that he anticipates that Queens Together will grow into a large and diverse group, consisting especially of restaurant and café owners, specialty product makers, beverage vendors, and wholesalers.
According to Forgash, QT is organizing webinars on such topics as compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and good business practices. Soon, QT leaders plan to set up meetings with elected officials, government agency representatives, and civic groups. In the near future, Forgash pledged that QT will organize flash sales, bulk-purchasing deals, gift-card discounts, and event-planning offers, while also negotiating low-cost, high-quality contracts with providers of such services as hood cleaning, inspections, and wholesale products.
“The Queens Together Association is creating one strong voice to represent, empower, and support the diverse food industry of our amazing borough,” Forgash added. “We’re going to deliver real dollars, real savings, and real promotions.”