Residents living in the four Pomonok Houses buildings without cooking gas got an unexpected surprise when a Brooklyn van pulled up last week with a hot meal for all.
Up to 1,000 residents in 259 apartments had their stoves turned off two weeks ago after a defective gas line was discovered. Tenants were given two-burner hot plates by the New York City Housing Authority, which runs the 35-building complex in Flushing.
Monica Corbett, president of the Pomonok Residents Association, said a Masbia van served a full meal, both kosher and non-kosher. “It was well-balanced and delicious,” Corbett said, “and all free.”
Masbia, a nonprofit soup kitchen group which also has a Rego Park location, has promised to deliver food every Wednesday until gas is restored. The only week they will take off is for Passover, which begins April 14.
The meal is held in the Pomonok Community Center.
Corbett has been told that repairing the gas line and doing inspections will take 60 days. “People are coping,” she said. “They are getting help from relatives in other buildings and using extra appliances.”
She said volunteers also delivered meals from Masbia to the homebound in the buildings.
Corbett would still like to see NYCHA provide additional appliances to those without gas such as electric skillets, electric griddles and Crock-Pots.
“But things could be a lot worse,” she added. “We could be without heat. No one is angry. We’d rather be safe.”
In a move of solidarity, Corbett said residents are planning a family potluck Easter dinner on April 19 at the complex.