Photo Courtesy of Councilman Ulrich’s Office
Councilman Ulrich (l.) and volunteers outside his Ozone Park office.
By Forum Staff
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) has surpassed a milestone 55,000 meals distributed at his weekly food drives.
Ulrich partnered with GrowNYC’s Emergency Fresh Food Box program, Community Board 9 and Community Board 10 back in May of 2020 to distribute emergency food boxes for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the emergency food community has shouldered much of the burden to keep people fed, the overwhelming demand for food, particularly in some of the city’s most impacted communities, is outpacing their ability, Ulrich said. The lack of access to food, especially healthy food, has been exacerbated by social-distancing requirements that make it impossible to operate many congregate meal outlets, such as soup kitchens, and require new interventions to be quickly deployed.
The Emergency Fresh Food Boxes distributed at Ulrich’s Ozone Park office are one practical option to provide struggling New Yorkers with healthy and nutritious food. Each Emergency Fresh Food Box contains a culturally-sensitive variety of fruits, vegetables and two pantry items like rice, beans or shelf-stable milk. Each box is designed to provide families with well-balanced, nutritious meals every week.
“Unfortunately, almost a year after the pandemic devastated New York City, there are many people struggling to make ends meet. Unemployment is at an all-time high, and New Yorkers do not have access to basic life necessities, like food,” Ulrich said. “This ongoing partnership with GrowNYC, Community Board 9 and Community Board 10 has allowed us to help hundreds of families in need by providing quality, culturally-sensitive meals to those impacted by COVID-19. I am proud of the great work we are doing, and remain committed to helping my constituents during this uncertain time.”
“We are incredibly thankful to our partners, like Councilmember Ulrich, who support GrowNYC’s Emergency Fresh Food Box Program,” said GrowNYC’s President and CEO Marcel Van Ooyen. “With help from these partners, and generous support from the City, not only are we able to help feed many New Yorkers hard hit by COVID-19, but, by sourcing from New York farmers, the program also provides critical income to regional farm communities.”
In addition to Emergency Fresh Food Boxes, Ulrich’s office has also distributed supplies, such as face masks and hand sanitizer, at the weekly food drives.
“On behalf of Community Board 9, I would like to thank Council Member Ulrich for letting us participate in this great endeavor,” said Community Board 9 Chairman Kenichi Wilson. “It has been such an experience to meet so many individuals that have been suffering from food insecurities during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to continuing the support, and helping the community in ways needed.”
Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton added, “Community Board 10 has been pleased to partner with and work alongside Council Member Ulrich to help get much-needed fresh and healthy food to people every week as they have been struggling through these difficult times to keep their families fed.”
The weekly food drive takes place every Friday at 10 a.m. at Ulrich’s district office, located at 93-06 101 Ave. For more information, call (718) 738-1083.