LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens — Patrick Thompson is a pastor and Kelly Craig is a single mom in Long Island City that happens to be in crisis management.
They are neighbors and now partners in a relief effort in Western Queens. They have a team of 60 volunteers with their organization LICrelief.
“What can we do locally in our neighborhood? How can neighbors organize to help other? Instead of sitting and hiding, we are doing our best to adhere to quarantine guidelines so we can mobilize,” says Thompson.
Criag says unfortunately the messages for help keep pouring in.
“Yesterday, we had parents with children who have lost work. Families are hungry they can’t get food. We have people on oxygen tanks and are stuck at home," she said.
"A woman in Astoria, who has a 2-year old and a 5-year old and has the flu, she can’t get out of the house. We had one of our volunteers go to her and bring food."
Their headquarters is a Long Island City basement, though they are moving to a nearby warehouse. They have created a partnership with eight local restaurants in Long Island City and have Raised thousands of dollars.
Thompson says it’s a win/win situation. They're paying restaurants $5 a meal, keeping the restaurants open. Plus, it's completely free to a family in need.
They are are calling for a few volunteers in the Long Island City area to help. They are also accepting donations at their website.
LIC restaurants that will be doing free grab and go meals starting Monday during 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. lunch hours are Manducatis Rustica, Little Chef Little Cafe, Bella Via, Vernon Grille, Piatto and Centro Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen. They'll be available Monday through Friday.