Every year, on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen hosts its annual Fast-A-Thon, which rallies Soup Kitchen supporters to go hungry for a day so someone else won’t have to. This year, the event raised over $100,000, a record amount of funding which is being used to support the Soup Kitchen’s Thanksgiving meal services.
Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is the largest soup kitchen in New York, providing over 1,000 hot meals every weekday to New Yorkers in need of a free, prepared lunch. This year, as a result of the pandemic economy and the closing of other food assistance programs, Holy Apostles also expanded its food pantry, which now provides groceries to over 500 households per week.
While the 38-year-old Soup Kitchen has grown accustomed to preparing and serving 1,000 Thanksgiving meals every year, we were unsure if we would have the resources needed to ensure the growing number of families visiting the new pantry program would receive a turkey for Thanksgiving. However, the success of this year’s Fast-A-Thon guaranteed that everyone who visited the Soup Kitchen and pantry received not only a turkey, but all the traditional fixings for a Thanksgiving feast.
Corporate sponsors of Fast-A-Thon, Google and Chelsea Market, donated 600 turkeys – to Holy Apostles for distribution to households who visit the pantry program. Additionally, Investors Bank and W. P. Carey made generous financial donations to the Soup Kitchen’s annual Thanksgiving fundraiser to support additional food purchases for the special holiday meal services.
At the same time, over 80 individuals took a pledge to eat just one meal on the day of Fast-A-Thon, in solidarity with New Yorkers whose only meal on a given day comes from Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. They then created their own personal fundraising campaign around their fast and asked their friends and family to sponsor their efforts.
Combined, Fast-A-Thon’s corporate sponsors and everyone who took a pledge to fast and fundraise for Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, have made the Holiday season a little brighter for New Yorkers who have been hardest hit by the pandemic economy. This Thanksgiving, even despite COVID-19, Holy Apostles has extra reason to be grateful to everyone who continues to partner with us as we combat hunger in New York City.