On Thursday, April 9, the National Biodiesel Board and the National Biodiesel Foundation began paying for meals for some divisions of the Fire Department of New York. The meals come from local restaurants, the NBB reports in emails to Rocco J. Lacertosa, chief executive officer of the New York State Energy Coalition.
“NYSEC is proud of our NBB partners and their efforts to help the FDNY during the COVID-19 crisis,” Lacertosa wrote in an April 17 email to Coalition members. The FDNY uses biodiesel in all its vehicles and works closely with the NBB.
“New York City has the largest municipal fleet in the U.S. and was an early adopter of biodiesel,” said Kaleb Little, an NBB spokesman. “The National Biodiesel Board and the National Biodiesel Foundation have worked closely with the city’s fleets, including the New York Fire Department, to educate key industry stakeholders about how biodiesel is used in the city fleets and how it is helping New York City meet its sustainability and clean air goals. The city has also graciously hosted NBB staff and farmer leaders from around the country to see how biodiesel is being used firsthand for more than a decade.”
“While we wish we could do more to help, we have teamed up with other stakeholders to provide hot meals sourced from local restaurants in hopes of providing an emotional boost to our friends who are on the front lines,” said Little.
So far, the joint effort has been able to serve more than 1,000 meals. Locations served include EMS dispatch centers in Brooklyn and the Bronx, five EMS stations, the mechanics of the Fleet Services Division, and other critical personnel.
The FDNY’s Incident
Management Team (IMT) has led the logistics of the effort on the ground,
helping to identify local restaurants who are also in need, with assistance
from the New York Hospitality Association, and pairing them with FDNY personnel
across the city.
The project will continue this week and next as funds allow with the hope of doubling the number of meals served. Individuals can support the efforts with a donation through the National Biodiesel Foundation page.
Pictured: Danny Youngson of the FDNY’s Incident Management Team picking up meals of chicken parmesan from Sofia’s Pizzeria, a restaurant in Ozone Park, Queens, to deliver to 200 mechanics of the department’s Fleet Services Division on April 9. Photo courtesy of NBB and NYSEC.