More than 1.2 million New Yorkers face hunger every year, including close to one in five New York City children. Many people in New York City are trying to survive off fixed income. It’s hard to imagine – you get a set amount of money you get every month, and you just don’t have enough.
The Meals Ministry offers our parish the opportunity to accept this challenge and also to obey the call of the Gospel by feeding the poor and seeing the face of Jesus in those who are hungry not only for food, but also for love and compassion: Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, ‘Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.’ So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, ‘This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.'” [John 6:11-14]
A-Friday Food Fest:
Friday Food Fest meets on Fridays from September to the last Friday in July. The mission of this ministry is to provide a warm and caring atmosphere homeless persons and community residences can be feed a balance meal, experience social interaction and spiritual comfort in a non-threatening environment. In addition to food we distribute clothing, recommendations to local services for the homeless, distribute winter coats and conduct mini wellness informational talks.
This year we exceeded our projected number of meals serve by 15% due to feeding the Brothers and Sisters of the Road, the Sanctuary residents, and clients from the Dominican Women Development Corporation. This year we anticipated an additional increase in guest due to the economic climate of our country.
In the year 2019 we hope to add an additional day to our schedule, by feeding lunch on Wednesdays and breakfast once a month on Sundays. We also hope that the fire suppression system will be completed.
B- Mobile Market:
In the year 2018 we started our food Mobil Market in collaboration with the West Side Campaign Against Hunger’s Mobile Market. They work in partnership with community-based organizations, health centers, senior centers, and religious institutions to create new access points for healthy food, including fresh fruits and vegetables. The Mobile Market targets communities within Northern Manhattan and the Bronx where healthy food access is least available, and in areas with the highest rates of poverty.
Once a month the food truck arrives at our church to impact more than 125 people who pick up their bags of fresh food. We continue working to increase the numbers of participants.
We thank all of the members of the parish and community who serve relentlessly and make this ministry successful.
Jacqueline Kellum-Foster & Paula Miranda, Coordinators