Catholic Charities has seen a 200% increase in food requests since late March.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended the state’s stay-at-home order until June 18, which means more economic fallout.
A day later, over 3,000 people in Queens lined up at a food pantry starting at 5 a.m.
St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Queens can only do so much for the community since the priests cannot have people in the church.
The priests feel frustrated and want to do more for the community. So they started a food pantry with the help of Catholic Charities. People began to line up at 5 a.m.:
“The last eight, 10 weeks has been a real tsunami, a disaster for us here, between sickness, death, unemployment and just lack of services for the undocumented,” Beuther said.
Beuther says even with empty pews, he can still help the neighborhood by feeding the families and answering the phone.
“They are reaching out just to talk, to tell stories, they’re reaching out for ears, just to listen,” he said.
There has been a 200% increase in demand for food since the pandemic started.
UPDATE: Police estimate roughly 3,500 people are lined up outside a food pantry in Elmhurst, Queens hours before it opens. https://t.co/00smgB55UE
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) May 15, 2020
A week ago, WABC reported that another food pantry in Queens faced hardship. This one opens on Wednesdays at noon and closes at 4 p.m. or until they run out of food:
At one of the hardest-hit communities in Corona, a food pantry at Elmcor, located on Northern Boulevard, opens at noon on Wednesdays and goes until 4 p.m., or until they run out of food. Last week, they served at least 540 families.
A 9-year-old boy named Andrew was one of those in line who did not get food because the pantry ran out. He said his family is running out of food at home and he is not alone.
A report from the Brookings Institute said that since the pandemic started, 22.7% of families in the United States don’t have enough money for more food — that’s up from 11% in 2018.
And 17% of those asked said the children in their household are not eating enough because they couldn’t afford enough food.
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