A Queens food pantry needs donations
I was lounging around reading romance novels and eavesdropping on my husband’s weekend Zoom with his friends when I heard mention that a local food pantry is stepping up to help neighbors — but their funds are running low because so many people need assistance right now.
It’s a bit awkward to slide a donation ask in front of beauty blog readers during a pandemic when we have daily, excellent donation opportunities. Ultimately, I decided to just throw this out there so you can do what you will with it because food insecurity is last fucking thing people need in 2020: there’s info on how to donate, how to use the pantry, and how to volunteer.
4808 91st Place
Elmhurst, NY 11373
facebook (calls for volunteers are posted on fb)
Open for food distribution every Tuesday, the 3rd Saturday of each month and by appointment.
How to donate: PayPal (the pantry is run by St Jacobus Evangelical Lutheran Church, a registered charity). 100% of donations go directly to buying wholsale food for distribution to the local community in need.
Contact: Pastor Joseph Mantovani, St Jacobus Evangelical Lutheran Church
I corresponded with Pastor Joe by email and wanted to share some of the key details about how the pantry has responded to the neighborhood’s needs in the wake of COVID (what follows are excepts from his message to me, lightly edited and condensed):
Until February 2020, this program served about 300 families once a month. Since the start of the pandemic in March, the pantry has served over 5,000 families and operated 2 or 3 times per week. Serving at this level has exhausted all grants and resources.-Pastor Joseph Mantovani
Elmhurst and Corona, the two neighborhoods served by our pantry, have always been considered high need and low service. These areas have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the effects of the economic shut down. The rates of infection, deaths, and people without access to economic relief programs are all among the highest in NYC. We are one of only two or three pantries in these zip codes that have run through the pandemic. There are 5 families of our church we provide food for, most of the other 4995 don’t even know where my church is (we operate the pantry at a different site).
Thank you to everyone at Stacey’s Pantry for stepping up massively to serve the neighborhood; I’ve donated to help support their efforts and it sounds like they’d really appreciate any other support fan readers are able to give.
The Best Sunscreen Combo I’ve Ever Used
Let’s not play, first up is the 2019 edition of Biore’s Watery Essence. I loved the feel of the 2016 version on my skin, but found that it melted on my hairline when I would sweat, which resulted in some sun damage. The 2017 version had a powdery, heavy finish I hated, but added water resistance (meaning you can sweat a bit without SPF melt). The 2019 version feels light, doesn’t have a white cast, and it offers water resistance. It’s fantastic. It beats my 2017 pick, Nivea Sun Protect Super Water Gel, because it offers PA++++ protection rather than PA+++. I’m done hunting; I buy three bottles at a time.
After talking to my best friend about her experience with skin cancer on her scalp, I’ve been super careful about getting SPF into my hairline. For prolonged exposure to sun, I grabbed a wide-brim packable hat, but most of the time I just spray some extra SPF on my hairline and gently pat it in. Biore makes a spray SPF (Biore UV spray) that’s excellent. I mean, it smells terrible, but it delivers a fine mist right between my strands, which is useful since I exfoliate my scalp with acids from time to time. It makes my hairline a bit greasy feeling, but I just roll with it and use the extra weight to keep my fine hairline fur in check; I have a shaggy (but growing out, yay!) hairline from going under anesthesia so many times last year, so it works.
Caveats: friends with super dry skin and a retinoid routine mostly can’t use Biore Watery Essence due to the alcohol content. Biore UV Spray is a pain to buy and prices are inflated due to the shipping restrictions on aerosols, but I find that one bottle can last for ages if I only use it for a quick hairline extra protection layer on heavy sun days.
Before and After Since 2014
I always dreamed of posting a great skincare before and after side-by-side and of course ended up renovating my whole head along the way. Since 2014, I’ve done a lot of acid peels, learned I had an asymmetrical bone deformity, got braces on, had an adenoidectomy and septoplasty, did a round of Accutane, figured out my hair situation, had a tonsilectomy, had double jaw surgery (followed by a revision 24 hours later to get my lower jaw on straight!), whitened my teeth at home during a pandemic, and lost 135 pounds.
My skin is kinda red on my nose because my post-Accutane skincare routine is so minimal (tbh almost non-existent right now unless I go outside) and I have some small bumps from oily plugs, but I’m just enjoying minimalism for the moment. I’ve only paid for it with pain, flesh, cash, blood, tears, cartilage, and bone.
Here’s what’s going on in every shot in the video below:
- me now.
- early 2015: early days of fan-b, feeling hopeful about my skin.
- August 2015: my skin purging from Curology in Berlin.
- August 2018: still having acne, just before I started Accutane.
- TCA Peel, one of many along the way.
- May 2018: showing my teeth just before getting braces.
- braces installation.
- July 2018: adenoidectomy and septoplasty. This one looks so ho-hum and wasn’t cosmetic, but my breathing makeover is amazing.
- My roots grew out while I was blindsided by news about my weird bones.
- August 2018: turning my hair over to a pro.
- March 2019: showing what it looks like to have a whole lot of extra face on one side thanks to hemimandibular hyperplasia.
- March 2019: the tilt to my jaw from head on and showing off my skin after Accutane.
- June 2019: the morning after jaw surgery.
- heading home after jaw surgery. I couldn’t close my mouth for days!
- I wore a jaw bra connected to an ice machine for weeks.
- Rolling my puffy face honestly didn’t do much.
- I was SO SWOLLEN because I 1) had jaw surgery and 2) had two jaw surgeries within 30ish hours of each other (one double jaw surgery and a revision on the lower jaw only the next day).
- July 2020: I was so babyfaced due to the swelling.
- October 2019: I was dying to get my giant clunky braces off, but I had months still to go!
- November 2019: the swelling took forever to go away, but I started to feel more normalish by about five months post-op.
- December 2019: enjoyed my first barefaced vacation, what a feeling.
- March 2020: got my braces off and started whitening my teeth.
- Seriously, I have a whole whitening set-up, the pandemic isn’t stopping me.
- These days, playing with skincare for fun and hydration rather than desperately seeking an acne fix.
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