Abandoned cars in the middle of the road. Trees and power wires down. Homes with broken windows and tremendously impactful damages to the roof and exterior. The scene on 175th Street in Fresh Meadows after Hurricane Ida was catastrophic, and in the middle of the pandemic, the community was hit with yet another devastating obstacle that they had no control over.
“Our neighbors and families were in despair and we knew we needed to help them,” said Serila Saimon, Director of our Beacon Program at MS 216, which offers after school services and a community center seven days a week to over 1,100 community members of all ages. “Our program sprung into action and immediately set up clothing drives, and we partnered with our food pantries to provide emergency food services to the community.”
From September through January, the pop-up food pantry has provided weekly groceries for nearly 1,500 people.
“Commonpoint Queens and the Beacon program have been life-saving,” said Tina, whose 12-year-old daughter has thrived in the after school program. “These wonderful people make our life so much easier every single day, and that they have also come to the rescue with groceries gives us one less thing to worry about.
If you or someone you know is in need of food or other critical services including benefits enrollment, employment assistance, personal or business loans, visit www.commonpointqueens.org/emergency.