Urban Upbound staff are calling thousands of NYCHA residents daily to find out how we can help them get through the COVID-19 pandemic safely. Last week, a staff member connected with an Astoria Houses resident who wishes to remain anonymous, so we’ll call her Gloria.

Being African-American and 55-years-old, Gloria’s at heightened risk for the novel coronavirus by traveling to the store for groceries. So, when she received the call that Urban Upbound volunteers would be dropping off groceries to her door, she exclaimed for joy. We arranged a same-day time for drop-off, informing her that her package would include canned foods, rice, snacks, and refrigerated items like milk, eggs, and butter.

She asked if we had fresh meat, but we told her that we’re working on securing funds and a supplier from which to purchase chicken, beef, and fish — items that are challenging to get at area grocery stores, but bring comfort during times of hardship.

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