Connected Chef provides fresh food to Queens residents

The mission of Connected Chef, a nonprofit organization based in Long Island City, is to make sure households in Queens have fresh, nutritious food. 

"We believe everyone should have the right to eat healthy at home," co-founder Omar Bravo said.

Bravo and his wife, who are both chefs, left the restaurant they worked in for years to help their community. He said when the pandemic hit in 2020 he realized families needed help. 

"We delivered to 25 families the first week, second week 50 and then numbers grew," he said. "We had over 2,000 families on the waiting list."

Fast-forward to May 2022, Connected Chef is delivering free bags of produce and grains to more than 550 families each week. The organization doesn't turn anyone away but focuses mainly on supporting struggling immigrant families who have been put out of work due to the pandemic or those who are excluded from unemployment benefits. 

"Ever since the pandemic, there is a huge need in the community, people are still in need today," said Judy Maravilla, who does outreach in the community.

Omar said 90% of their food comes from local small farms. Connected Chef is open Wednesday through Saturday and also runs a farm stand.

Connected Chef is in need of donations. If you'd like to help, go to