More fuel for the fire: Bay Ridge Cares awarded grant

The newly formed non-profit group, Bay Ridge Cares, which developed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Citizens Committee of New York City (CCNYC).

Bay Ridge Cares, spearheaded by locals Justin Brannan, Alison Robicelli and Karen Tadross, is a pop-up soup kitchen that prepares 400 meals daily for the victims of Sandy. Operating out of the kitchen in the basement of St. Mary’s Church, at 81st Street and Ridge Boulevard, dozens of volunteers, plus guest head chefs, cook up meals six days a week that are delivered to Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways.

“Citizens Committee is truly a tremendous organization – they help New Yorkers come together,” Brannan said. “Their grant will help the Bay Ridge Cares Kitchen continue our mission of preparing and delivering thousands of hot meals to where they are needed most in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.”

CCNYC announced last week that it would provide $100,000 in emergency grants to support volunteer-led groups in its efforts to provide relief for those areas hardest hit.

“These grants go up to $5,000 and our grant decision process will be expedited. Groups will be notified of our grant decision within a week of application submission and grant checks will be issued shortly thereafter,” said Peter Kostmayer, chief executive officer of CCNYC. “They can be used by New Yorkers living in the city’s hard hit areas, including the Rockaways, Staten Island, Red Hook, and Coney Island, for the repair and cleanup up public and community spaces and property.

“Regrettably they are not for use by private homeowners since the entire amount would be used instantly if that were the case,” he went on. “We are doing our best to focus on hard hit low-income neighborhoods that we serve historically.”

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