POUGHKEEPSIE – Frankie Flowers, son of the late John Flowers, is working every day to carry on the Flowers legacy. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the younger Flowers to step up and provide meals for those that are experiencing financial stress during the pandemic.
“We contacted several local restaurants including Emiliano’s, TJ’s Pizza, West Indies Cafe and others to help provide meals or cook the food that I bring to them. The response has been tremendous,” said Flowers. Seven days a week, Flowers and his volunteers set up tables in the parking lot at Main and Clover Streets to distribute pre-packaged hot and cold meals as well as non-perishable food items and toiletries to anyone in need.
At around 5 p.m. daily, people start lining up, maintaining social-distancing, and proceed up to the tables to get a meal. On Saturday evening there was a choice of BBQ ribs, curry chicken and rice, sweet potatoes, and pizza from Emiliano’s. Emiliano’s owner Egidio Guerriero said, “Frankie is doing great things for the community and Emiliano’s is more than happy to help out.”
Flowers said that on a typical day about 60 to 70 people show up for a meal that the volunteers distribute. In addition to the distribution point, Flowers has another group of volunteers that pick up meals that they deliver to homebound residents. “We deliver about 200 meals a day to people that can’t make it down here,” said Flowers as he was loading up food into one of the vehicles.
MAG Auto in Poughkeepsie has provided significant financial support for the meal program. Flowers said that he uses the money to purchase food and then take it to one of the supporting restaurants or volunteers to be cooked. One of the restaurants that helps is Duces Restaurant at DC Indoor Golf. Owner Dan Pizzarelli praised the effort of Flowers. “Frankie has an enormous heart and he really cares about the community, and so do I. Our community has really stepped up to help people out.”