Food, Fellowship, and Physical Distancing

04.2.20 | Food for the Soul, News & Events

The past month has brought so much change, faster than anyone could have predicted. We are all affected, and we are all anxious about what the future holds. But we are not alone. We’re in this situation together, and together, we will come out of it stronger.

19 MAR 2020: Individuals line up to receive a to-go lunch outside Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen early on a Thursday morning. Today’s meal consists of mac and cheese, turkey, warm vegetables, a KIND bar, fruit, and juice. PHOTO CREDIT: SARAH BLESENER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Here at the soup kitchen, we’ve temporarily suspended our volunteer program, transitioned our daily meal service to a “grab-and-go” hot meal distribution, and announced a lofty campaign that ensures we can continue to provide sustenance and hope to New Yorkers who have nowhere else to turn for a meal, while also expanding to feed and sustain residents who will increasingly feel financial constraints from business closures and cutbacks.

The campaign is inspired by national emergency food response efforts during the last two decades of natural disasters. By partnering with local culinary figures who have contributed their time and talent to relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, the soup kitchen is providing 800 hot meals every Monday through Friday in the courtyard of the Church of the Holy Apostles. In the first three weeks of our modified meals operations, we served nearly 15,000 meals.

19 MAR 2020: Backpacks ready to be delivered wait inside Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen early on a Thursday morning. The “backpack program” delivers mood for families of four. PHOTO CREDIT: SARAH BLESENER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

As good stewards of our environment, we are sourcing biodegradable packaging for our hot meal distribution and our staff work diligently to ensure our neighborhood is free from litter after meal service.

We’ve hired additional security to maintain social distancing and ensure the safety of our guests, volunteers, and staff. And our Backpack Pantry Program continues to provide 150 backpacks to the elderly and P.S. 33 school children whose families are living in shelters or in nearby affordable housing.

We are actively seeking out partnerships with culinary figures, corporate partners, and other nonprofits to meet new needs in the community and ensure people who are homebound have access to meals. While New York City is going through a rough time, we know that together, we will ensure our neighbors have access to hot, nutritious meals during the present crisis, and beyond.

As Desmond Tutu said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

No matter where you are, there are ways to help. To donate, please click here.

Sarah Marcantonio

Sarah Marcantonio


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