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A community refrigerator offering free meals to those in need in Queens during the COVID-19 pandemic has been vandalized.
The full-size fridge was set up in front of state Sen. Jessica Ramos’ district office in East Elmhurst in October, and was staffed by dozens of volunteers to provide free meals to the poor.
But when The Post visited Saturday morning, there were food containers and spilled rice on the ground, and the doors of the fridge and the electrical grid in the back were “destroyed,” according to Ramos, who called it “an act of hatred.”
“It’s been truly devastating to learn that someone would do this to a real lifeline in our community,” Ramos told The Post. “At the peak of the pandemic, we were the epicenter. Most of our neighbors here, specifically on this block and in this neighborhood, have not received any economic stimulus and don’t qualify for unemployment insurance.”
Ramos said her office is trying to collect surveillance video footage to see what happened. So far NYPD has not been contacted, she said.
The fridge is stocked by volunteers with meals, fruits and vegetables donated by local businesses, throughout the day, she said, adding that “hundreds of people” use the fridge to feed their families.
Ramos said she is appealing to the community for donations, so that the food can continue to be given out. “I’m thankful to everyone for the outpouring of support and donations we’ve received to replace the fridge and keep it stocked for several weeks to come,” she said.
“So many of our neighbors have already reached out,” she said. “We’re going to replace the fridge, we’re going to continue to keep it fully stocked. No one is going to mess with our neighbors.”