THE ‘FOOD FOR THE FEARLESS’ CAMPAIGN HAS RAISED NEARLY $100,000 TO PROVIDE MEALS FOR HOSPITAL AND OTHER FRONTLINE WORKERS. PICTURED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT IS MARK BOCCIA, JR., JULIA LJUBICICH AND EXECUTIVE CHEF FRANK LYNCH IN THE KITCHEN AT BOURBON STREET IN BAYSIDE.
BY BENJAMIN FANG
A campaign to donate meals to frontline health care workers is drawing support from two Queens-based organizations. The “Food for the Fearless” campaign, launched by Mark Boccia, Jr., a physician’s assistant student, and his father Mark Sr., a restaurant owner, has already surpassed its initial fundraising goal of $50,000.
Now, the Queens Chamber of Commerce and Queensboro Football Club, the borough’s first professional men’s soccer team, are teaming up to urge supporters to contribute to the campaign to reach their new target of $100,000.
“We are thankful to the support of our neighbors, friends, family, loyal customers and especially our partners for getting behind this important cause,” said Boccia Sr., who owns Bourbon Street and One Station Plaza in Bayside and Austin’s Ale House in Kew Gardens. “We are asking everyone to continue to pitch in to support our fearless heroes on the frontlines.”
Every $1,000 raised will allow the three restaurants to provide up to 100 meals to local hospital units fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of meals have already been delivered to Jamaica Hospital, North Shore University Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens and Flushing Hospital Medical Center. The campaign is closing in on 50 deliveries.
Additionally, the initiative allows the restaurants to retain their employees during the crisis. Tom Grech, president and CEO of the Queens Chamber, said small businesses like Bourbon Street, One Station Plaza and Austin’s Ale House are the “backbone of Queens,” and are stepping up to help the borough get through the crisis.
“We are inspired by everything Mark is doing to support the brave health care professionals putting their lives on the line to defeat this epidemic,” he said, “and are happy to support his efforts.”
The chamber also connected Queensboro FC to the Food for the Fearless campaign. They are urging soccer fans to make donations through a social media campaign.
“We are dedicated to doing everything in our power to help Queens during this crisis and everyday after,” said Jonathna Krane, founding partner of Queensboro FC. “We are inspired by how the community has rallied behind this campaign in a significant way and want to do our part.”
Grech added that he’s thrilled that the football club, one of the chamber’s newest members, is contributing to the cause. “
Before a ball has even been kicked, Jonathan and his team are proving to be an important part of Queens’ business community,” he said.