Brooklyn Boro

COVID-19 update: ‘Good seeds’ deliver fresh produce throughout Brooklyn

June 12, 2020 Editorial Staff
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On the front lines of the war on COVID-19, there are many civilian heroes going out of their way, as volunteers and contributors. Also, many who are elected to serve are going the extra mile. In this column the Eagle hopes to give our readers an ongoing update on those fighting in the front lines.

Sustainable health charity Seeds in the Middle is delivering fresh fruits and vegetables throughout Brooklyn, having received generous donations honoring lives lost to COVID-19. Interested readers can sign up for food pick-ups in Carroll Gardens and Flatbush, and may donate to the group here. Seeds in the Middle has also given fresh produce to Wyckoff Gardens, SUNY Downstate health workers, Cobble Hill Health Center health workers, and over 1500 families and seniors throughout Brooklyn.

The nonprofit IMPACCT Brooklyn, which helps residents build and sustain flourishing communities in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, and Prospect Heights, will host its first virtual reception on June 12th. The group will be honoring women in housing and finance and Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference. The breakfast reception will celebrate the power of the community and will acknowledge those committed to strengthening our communities through housing, economic opportunity, and advocacy. Donations from the reception will help families and small businesses affected by COVID-19. Free registration for the event may be found here.

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Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, and The New York Public Library will continue their annual Summer Reading program online this year with the generous support of the New York Life Foundation. The program encourages children and teens to read as many books as possible, participate in activities, and earn prizes. Libraries will host virtual events ranging from meet-the-author workshops for teens and older children to story times for toddlers and performances for the whole family, and will distribute activity kits and physical books in high-need neighborhoods to ensure all children can participate in learning, regardless of their ability to access the internet.

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez on Thursday led 15 of her Congressional colleagues in filing an amicus brief in support of New York-based Amazon workers suing the company over what they say are dangerous conditions that have resulted in them exposing their community and family members to COVID-19. The workers’ suit, filed by Staten Island JFK8 warehouse employees last Wednesday, seeks changes to on-the-job and leave policies that the employees say incentivize symptomatic workers to continue showing up for shifts, don’t allow adequate time to wash hands and sanitize workstations, and block other precautions. “Today, we are imploring the court to intervene and provide relief that protects employees from getting ill and jeopardizing the community through further COVID-19 spread,” Velázquez said.

A new mobile app can help clinicians determine which patients with the coronavirus are likely to have severe cases. Created by researchers at NYU College of Dentistry, a new mobile app uses artificial intelligence to assess risk factors and key biomarkers from blood tests, producing a COVID-19 “severity score.” “Identifying and monitoring those at risk for severe cases could help hospitals prioritize care and allocate resources like ICU beds and ventilators,” said John McDevitt, professor of biomaterials at NYU College of Dentistry, who led the research. “Likewise, knowing who is at low risk for complications could help reduce hospital admissions while these patients are safely managed at home.”

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has called for the passage of his legislation that would defer property tax liabilities on certain residential property owners impacted by COVID-19. The legislation would require the city’s Department of Finance to offer agreements to defer real property tax liability otherwise due and payable as of July 1, 2020, until October 1, 2020. “As we all know, the Coronavirus has hindered the ability of New Yorkers to meet their tax obligations over the past three months, and this issue will likely remain for many more to come,” Williams said. “The City must act in ways to ease this burden while balancing the budget, as property tax payments are the biggest revenue source that funds public goods and services.”

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