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10,000 bagels donated to La Jornada Food Pantry

A donation of 10,000 bagels arrived at La Jornada Food Pantry on Monday morning, courtesy of Bagels by Bell, REIL Capital and the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
At its peak during the pandemic, La Jornada Food Pantry, located in the Bland Houses Community Center in Flushing, served upwards of 10,000 families a week, about ten times the need than before the pandemic started.
The donation of bagels and bialys was welcomed by Pedro Rodriguez, executive director of La Jornada. The food pantry has been serving the Flushing community and fighting food insecurity for 13 years, and more recently serving the thousands of families who have been impacted by both the pandemic and extreme weather.
“It’s scary,” said Rodriguez. “In the richest city in the world, the richest country in the world, people may have died of hunger.”
Public officials celebrated the donation of bagels that will be distributed out by La Jornada, while speaking to the hardships seen by the business community and the food pantry over the last year and a half.
In addition to being located in the epicenter of the pandemic, La Jornada suffered damage from Hurricane Ida earlier this month when its ground-level pantry was flooded with two feet of water.
“We have seen the inequities that families in Queens face and how our constituents have been detrimentally affected,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “Our families here in Queens have gone through so much. It really means a lot that we have other small businesses in the private sector looking in and stepping up to help our community.”
Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz praised partnership between the chamber, Bagels by Bell of Oceanside, and Manhattan-based REIL Capitol.
“We would not be able to do this if it wasn’t for everyone working together,” said Cruz. “Governing should be something that is done cooperatively.”
After touring the community room, Cruz lent some hope to a community that has seen small businesses and residents suffer due to the pandemic.
“Our beloved neighborhood saw thousands of people get sick and die, thousands of businesses closed and many didn’t reopen,” she said. “Unfortunately, many will probably close before the end of the year
“It’s disheartening, because sometimes you feel like no matter how much you do, it’s never going to help,” she added. “But I’m here to tell you that you can help.”

10,000 bagels donated to La Jornada Food Pantry

A donation of 10,000 bagels arrived at La Jornada Food Pantry on Monday morning, courtesy of Bagels by Bell, REIL Capital and the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
At its peak during the pandemic, La Jornada Food Pantry, located in the Bland Houses Community Center in Flushing, served upwards of 10,000 families a week, about ten times the need than before the pandemic started.
The donation of bagels and bialys was welcomed by Pedro Rodriguez, executive director of La Jornada. The food pantry has been serving the Flushing community and fighting food insecurity for 13 years, and more recently serving the thousands of families who have been impacted by both the pandemic and extreme weather.
“It’s scary,” said Rodriguez. “In the richest city in the world, the richest country in the world, people may have died of hunger.”
Public officials celebrated the donation of bagels that will be distributed out by La Jornada, while speaking to the hardships seen by the business community and the food pantry over the last year and a half.
In addition to being located in the epicenter of the pandemic, La Jornada suffered damage from Hurricane Ida earlier this month when its ground-level pantry was flooded with two feet of water.
“We have seen the inequities that families in Queens face and how our constituents have been detrimentally affected,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “Our families here in Queens have gone through so much. It really means a lot that we have other small businesses in the private sector looking in and stepping up to help our community.”
Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz praised partnership between the chamber, Bagels by Bell of Oceanside, and Manhattan-based REIL Capitol.
“We would not be able to do this if it wasn’t for everyone working together,” said Cruz. “Governing should be something that is done cooperatively.”
After touring the community room, Cruz lent some hope to a community that has seen small businesses and residents suffer due to the pandemic.
“Our beloved neighborhood saw thousands of people get sick and die, thousands of businesses closed and many didn’t reopen,” she said. “Unfortunately, many will probably close before the end of the year
“It’s disheartening, because sometimes you feel like no matter how much you do, it’s never going to help,” she added. “But I’m here to tell you that you can help.”

Pair trafficked teens at hotels in Suunyside, sout Queens

Two men have been indicted twice by a Queens County grand jury on kidnapping, sex trafficking, rape and other charges.
According to the charges, Lawrence Winslow and Alan Velvett coerced a 15-year-old girl to trade sex for cash for three days in February 2021 in two hotels in Queens.
In the second case, the defendants are accused of trafficking two other teens aged 13 and 14, as well as posting nude images of the victims online and stating that they were “for sale.”
“These three teenage victims were allegedly forced to trade sex for cash with strangers and the 14-year-old was coerced into having intercourse with both defendants,” said District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Winslow, 27, of Pennsylvania and Velvett, 27, of Jamaica were arraigned on a 28-count indictment. If convicted, Winslow and Velvett each face up to life in prison.
They were also arraigned today on a 13-count indictment. If convicted on these charges, the defendants face up to 25 years in prison.
According to the first indictment, in February the 15-year-old victim met the defendants at the La Quinta Inn on Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside, where she was told she would engage in sex for cash.
Winslow paid for two rooms at the hotel and took semi-nude photos of the child and posted online advertisements. Both Velvett’s and Winslow’s cell phone numbers were used with the ads.
Before the victim had sex with strangers, she was forced to have sex with Winslow twice. That was followed by a string of strangers who had intercourse with the girl, and every dollar was pocketed by the defendants.
Velvett then relocated the victim to the JFK Inn in Springfield Gardens, where the victim was again forced to have sex with strangers for cash. Velvett also coerced the girl into having sex with him.
The teenager was rescued when an undercover police officer responded to the online ad and met with the girl in person at one of the hotel rooms. Velvett was arrested after arriving in the room. Winslow was arrested after being found in the second hotel room across the hall.
In the second case, the two teens met Winslow at the La Quinta Inn where he took nude photos of the youngsters. One of the teenagers had sex with a stranger.

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