The New York City free kosher “Grab & Go” meal program continued to be plagued by problems, as Friday’s distribution began 90 minutes late at at least two Brooklyn locations.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch told Hamodia that constituents informed him that at the one Boro Park and one Midwood location, the meals, scheduled to be given out starting at 7:30 a.m., actually weren’t distributed until 9:00 a.m. This follows reports that on Thursday, the first day of distribution at most locations, food arrived late and ran out early at a number of places.
People who went to other locations Friday, including Williamsburg and Crown Heights, said the food arrived on time.
As the coronavirus pandemic has caused layoffs and financial distress to many New Yorkers, the city Department of Education has been distributing three free meals every day at public schools, to New Yorkers of all ages. Kosher sites were first added this week: in Williamsburg on Tuesday, and at eight other locations on Thursday.
The Department of Education also announced Friday that it would be adding two new sites starting Monday: in Boro Park, at P.S. 160, located at 5105 Fort Hamilton Parkway; and in Staten Island, at P.S. 54, located at 1060 Willowbrook Road.
In a statement Friday, Jewish elected officials in Brooklyn and Queens decried the problems and urged the city to do better.
“Today’s kosher Grab & Go program brought more delays for New Yorkers in need,” said state Sen. Simcha Felder, Assemblymen Simcha Eichenstein and Daniel Rosenthal, and Councilmen Chaim
Deutsch and Kalman Yeger. “There is a tremendous need for kosher food in our community, which has been extremely hard-hit by COVID-19.”
Following Thursday’s reports of food running out at several Brooklyn and Queens locations, the Education Department acknowledged that it had underestimated the need, and told Hamodia it would double the number of kosher meals ordered beginning Monday.
An Education Department spokesman did not immediately respond to Hamodia’s request for comment on Friday’s delays.
Friday’s statement by the five elected officials noted that “the City has committed to do better.”
“We will be monitoring the matter closely, and will continue to keep them accountable and hold their feet to the fire until they get this right,” said the officials. “We will also continue to advocate for an expansion of available kosher sites to neighborhoods that will be easily accessible for kosher-observant New Yorkers.”
Below is a full list of kosher food sites. People of any age can pick up three daily meals at once, with no registration or ID required. Parents and guardians may pick up meals for their children. Meals will be available for children and families from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and for adults from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
P.S. 192 – 4715 18 Avenue
P.S. 160 – 5105 Fort Hamilton Parkway
P.S. 154 Queens – 75-02 162 Street
P.S. 164 – 138-01 77 Avenue
P.S. 289 – 900 St Marks Avenue
I.S. 2 – 655 Parkside Avenue
P.S. 197 The Ocean School – 825 Hicksville Road
P.S. 253 – 1307 Central Avenue
P.S. 197 – 1599 East 22 Street
P.S. 54 – 1060 Willowbrook Road
PS 132 – 320 Manhattan Avenue
PS 257 – 60 Cook Street
Updated Friday, April 24, 2020 at 2:39 pm .