2022 was a milestone year at our soup kitchen and food pantry. It marked 40 years since our founding, and it also was the year we served more meals than at any other point in our history. And just like the 40 years that preceded it, the soup kitchen never missed a day of meal service. And while 2022 was another difficult year, where hunger and injustice persisted in our local communities, it was also a year where the heartfelt commitment and good humor of our volunteers, donors, and staff resulted in the immediate needs of our neighbors being met.
With the help of a broad base of supporters, we spent the year serving hot meals to our unhoused neighbors, providing groceries to families and individuals in need of support, distributing snacks and sandwiches to those living on the street that can’t make their way to the soup kitchen, and providing social services to all those who visit us.
Through all of these programs, Holy Apostles served over 2.9 million meals, with support from over 950 unique volunteers. Behind each of those meals is a story, an individual who received a lifeline through our community programs.
Individuals like Rodney, who first visited our Soup Kitchen in the 1990s, when he was without a home. Today, he’s moved off the soup kitchen line and into stable housing, and still stops by occasionally to say hello and visit our food pantry.
Rodney shared with our team:
“You are helping the community. Not just the homeless, but also helping people who are just struggling to make ends meet. Especially in a time like now, when the people really need it.”
The year presented many challenges, but we were able to meet those challenges with the support of the community. At the beginning of 2022, we were concerned about how we would sustain our expanded programming in the absence of COVID relief funding from the federal, state, and city levels. And as the year went on, inflation compounded those concerns by both increasing the need for assistance and increasing our costs to procure food and supplies. However, thanks to our community, we continued to be a pillar of certainty and support for all those who visited our soup kitchen and food pantry.
Together, the community at Holy Apostles accomplished so much:
- Our outdoor hot meal distribution provided 231,281 “Grab-and-Go’ meals every weekday from 10:30AM-12:30PM.
- Our Meal Outreach Program continued to prepare 1,035 sandwiches each week for people who were unable to come to the soup kitchen. In 2022, the program delivered 73,401 sandwiches and bagged lunches to individuals experiencing homelessness who sleep in or around Penn Station as well as asylum seekers who were sent to New York City after applying for asylum at the southern border.
- Our Food Pantry continues to be the largest meal program at Holy Apostles. In 2022, 2,752 households made over 43,500 visits to the pantry, which distributed over 2.8 million pounds of groceries, providing enough food to prepare 2.6 million meals.
- Our social service department facilitated over 28,000 social service interactions, providing essentials like clothing and hygiene kits as well as referrals to life-changing services.
- Our warming center saved the lives of over 75 of our unhoused neighbors, who sought refuge from the winter weather on nights when the temperature dropped below freezing.
- Our meal programs repurposed over 886,000 pounds of recovered food, preventing 850 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. That’s equivalent to 150 African elephants!
This was all made possible with the help of 949 volunteers, who contributed over 14,000 hours of their time, and over 7,000 donors who made over 16,000 donations! We thank each and every one of you for being a part of the community at Holy Apostles. Whether you are a guest, volunteer, donor, staff member, community member, or Church member, your commitment to social justice is inspiring, and it is appreciated.