BY GRANT LANCASTER
The Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce is raising money to feed first responders in Manhattan during the COVID-19 pandemic, including delivering 200 lunches from a local restaurant to police precincts.
Volunteers delivered boxed lunches from aRoqa, an Indian restaurant in Chelsea, to officers from NYPD’s 10th, 13th, 9th and Midtown South Precincts, said Matthew Olden, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber has organized events with local police in the past, with sponsors providing meals for the officers, Olden said. The chamber members wanted to continue that tradition while also supporting local businesses by starting a GoFundMe to buy food from local restaurants to feed officers in six precincts.
The chamber plans to buy food from restaurants that are members of the chamber, such as aRoqa, said Andres Pazmino, president of the Chamber of Commerce.
aRoqa’s owner, Monica Saxena, said that she reached out to Pazmino looking for a way to help her community after seeing stories of New Yorkers giving selflessly to first responders and others in need during the pandemic.
“As a business owner, you want to think of something to help,” Saxena said.
Saxena wants to continue providing meals for New Yorkers in need however she can, she said. In addition to donating to the Chamber’s GoFundMe, ordering to-go meals from aRoqa helps Saxena and her staff provide meals for others.