REGO PARK — A neighborhood soup kitchen that was displaced by a luxury rental building has found a new home close to its current location, according to its executive director.
Last week, Masbia Soup Kitchen Network announced it would relocate to a 3,800-square-foot space at 105-49 64th Road, near 108th Street, in Forest Hills.
Masiba, which provides groceries and hot meals to the hungry at several locations in Brooklyn and Queens, has been hunting a new facility since developers told the organization it must vacate its Rego Park building to make way for a luxury building planned for 98-02 Queens Blvd., near 65th Road.
Renovations on the new soup kitchen — which will be re-named the Henry and Susie Orenstein Emergency Soup Kitchen in honor of donors who helped pay rent on the 10-year lease — may take several months, Masiba executive director Alexander Rapaport said in an email on March 30.
The kitchen at the Queens Boulevard location will remain open to the public until construction at 105-49 64th Road is complete, Rapaport said.
The demand for emergency food has been steadily rising for several years, according to Rapaport. He estimates that the Rego Park branch and its new home in Forest Hills will provide more than one million meals in 2016.
Rapaport told DNAinfo New York Wednesday that the organization is very excited to have a newer and larger location.
“We’ll definitely be able to feed a lot of people in a dignified way,” he said.
The new 60-unit apartment building in Rego Park that displaced the kitchen will feature a gym, indoor pool and children’s playground, according to the developer.
Each apartment will come with granite countertops and stainless steel kitchen appliances. Construction is expected to begin this spring.