“I'm very excited about the distribution of the food that we collected in our food drive,” Weprin explained. “We all know hunger is a major problem in this country, in this state and unfortunately right here in Queens County as well.”
The local initiative called on various community groups, including Thomas Edison High School, PS/IS 178, Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, SNAP of Eastern Queens and Bellerose Jewish Center, to collect canned items, boxes of cereal and pasta.
“I was told that we have 1,000 pounds of canned goods and packaged good to distribute,” Weprin said.
The recipient of the donation was Richmond Hill-based nonprofit River Fund, which runs a mobile food pantry, as well as Saturday pantry services from 7 to 11 a.m. at 89-11 Lefferts Boulevard.
Okeano Bell, the group's outcome and expectations coordinator, said in addition to their pantry services the group helps residents get necessary healthcare, as well as other initiatives, such as its Cradle-to-College Program, which helps new mothers and college-bound students.
“We are also heavily involved in the community in terms of the young folks that we interact with on a daily basis,” Bell said. “Our initiative is to get you beyond the line of poverty and into a place of stabilization,” he said.