By Emily Drooby
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens are handing out food in Corona, Queens, an area hit hard by COVID-19. These heroes are risking so much to serve their community and fill a need that’s changed with the coronavirus crisis as millions of Americans have found themselves unemployed for the first time.
“You know, our mission is to reach out to the most vulnerable, and people who may not have been vulnerable before, are finding right now that is the case,” explained volunteer Richard Slizesk.
The nonprofit usually gives out 83,000 meals a month at their 20 parish-based food pantries. That number jumped by 20 percent last week.
Their hot meals for seniors program has also soared from 5,000 meals a week to 8,000.
Richard was one of the Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens heros on the frontlines April 8, providing musical timing for a hand-washing demonstration.
“It’s a privilege to be able to serve in this, it’s a challenge as you see,” he said. “When we do it we always have masks, gloves, we are always washing our hands, respecting the social distancing of six feet.”
Each of the 750 bags of groceries that were handed out April 8 can feed a family of three for three days.
According to Richard, throughout this entire coronavirus crisis they will continue to hold similar events in Brooklyn and in Queens, because it’s what they do best: help people.