- Voice of a Guest…Stephen
- From Farm to Tray: May 19, 2016
- Our Daily Meal
- Voice of a Volunteer…Linda
- Bite Sized
Voice of a Guest…Stephen
Twenty nine year old soup kitchen guest Stephen lives in a Bronx shelter just a few miles from Sarah Lawrence College where he graduated just as the economy crashed. Like so many others, securing a steady career has proven to be a rocky journey, and one he faces with humility and hard work.
With a Bachelors degree in English, Stephen found himself unable to secure a job at home and took his skills overseas.
“Coming here…gives me the strength I need for work, and for the future, too.”
“I taught English as a second language in China for a year,” Stephen recalls. “When I came back I worked for the mayoral campaign.”
After the election Stephen found himself once again unable to secure a steady paycheck, and falling behind on student loan payments and rent. With homelessness looming, he applied to be part of a Back-to-Work program and it was there that he learned about the soup kitchen.
“The program isn’t too far from here,” Stephen explains, “an instructor told me about the soup kitchen, that I could get something to eat between classes.”
Being able to count on a hot, nutritious meal every day has helped give Stephen the strength to piece together temporary and part time jobs whenever and wherever he can. But in 2014, despite his best efforts he fell into homelessness, and was forced to move into a shelter.
“With wages as low as they are and with no real opportunities to get a real job, homelessness is virtually impossible to overcome,” he says. In Stephen’s situation it would be easy to lose hope, but coming to the soup kitchen has helped him to maintain his dignity, self-esteem and professional appearance as he continues to search for viable work. “The haircut vouchers – they’re indispensable,” he says.
At a recent job interview Stephen’s tenacity paid off when he finally secured a permanent, full time position at MTA transit company Access-a-Ride. “I make reservations and trouble shoot,” Stephen explains. “It’s still minimum wage, but I just got my second pay check.”
It may not be the dream job he envisioned as an undergraduate, but this resilient young man is proud to have found a steady job, determined to make his life better and hopeful for the future. For today, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is part of that future, helping him stretch his pay check and keeping his spirits high.
“The food is really good, and it really does help me save money and get by. Coming here on my break almost every day gives me the strength I need for work, and for the future too,” Stephen said with a smile.
From Farm to Tray May 19th, 2016
We hope you can join us at our fourth annual From Farm to Tray benefit, a favorite fundraiser for New York City “foodies” and soup kitchen friends alike.
Once again, we’ll be presenting awards to friends who make outstanding contributions to the soup kitchen. The Ben Tabatchnick Award honors the memory of our long-time friend who used his expertise as CEO of Tabatchnick Fine Foods to fight hunger. Ben inaugurated Tabatchnick Soup Fridays, a program that continues today, and he was a tireless volunteer as well. His award will be presented to a champion of the soup kitchen who shares Ben’s spirit of generosity and sacrifice. The Muriel Moore Award recognizes a volunteer for selfless service to the fulfillment of our mission. A leader in the church, Muriel was also one of the first parishioners to realize the need to help those who were in hunger and despair. The response became Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, and this award honors her profound legacy of 20 years of volunteer service.
This year, Gotham Burger Social Club will kick off our VIP hour and new and returning chefs will again be using sustainable and local ingredients generously provided by Whole Foods Market.
FEATURED CHEFS and RESTAURANTS:
- Michael Armstrong & Yvan Lemoine, Bodega Negra at Dream Downtown
- Ginger Pierce & Preston Madson, Jams
- Laurence Edelman, Left Bank
- Arthur Lee, Ristorante Morini of Altamarea Group
- Ralpheal Abrahante, Thalassa
- Craig Reid, The Westin New York at Times Square
- Francesco Gallo, Zio Ristorante
Chef husband and wife team Ginger Pierce and Preston Madson have been From Farm to Tray mainstays since its inception. “I’m proud to be a part of the great work the soup kitchen does of providing local and fresh food,” says Chef Ginger who, like her husband, is dedicated to food sustainability. To Chef Preston From Farm to Tray is also about community: “Growing up, meals were more than about just food – they were a reason for friends and family to come together,” he says. “That’s why I’m participating in From Farm to Tray.”
Executive Director Reverend Glenn Chalmers appreciates the common cause the soup kitchen shares with leading New York City culinary figures:
“We purchase locally grown and in season produce, and partner with restaurants and organizations to reduce food waste,” he explains. “For a lot of our soup kitchen guests, the meal they have here will be the only one they eat that day and like our From Farm to Tray chefs, we want to make sure it tastes great.”
Last year, a sold-out crowd enjoyed the delights on offer at From Farm to Tray so we don’t want you to miss out on this exciting way to help us continue our mission serving healthy meals to hungry and homeless New Yorkers.
Secure your tickets or call (212) 924-0167.
Ever wonder where our funding and food comes from? Here’s the breakdown of how your support keeps our Daily Meal on the table:
Voice of a Volunteer…Linda
Having dedicated her life to helping others, Linda began volunteering at the soup kitchen in 2009.
As a young woman, soon after her son was born, Linda trained to be a certified nursing assistant, caring for both newborns and the elderly. “Both of those experiences gave me a feeling of accomplishment, knowing that I brought a smile to an infant or comfort to a grandmother,” she recalls.
So as a natural caregiver Linda was grateful to be able to care for her own mother in 2002. But when her mother passed away seven years later, Linda knew she needed for an outlet for her grief.
Linda, who is also a Holy Apostles parishioner, was familiar with the soup kitchen. “I decided that volunteering at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen was what I needed during my grieving period,” she says.
Now, all these years later and enduring chronic arthritic pain, Linda still volunteers. “I continue to return because when I’m here, and while I am doing my job, nothing hurts.”
“My favorite job is putting the spoons on the trays and handing them to the guests,” she says. “I greet them with a ‘Good Morning!’ and I receive many ‘Thank Yous.’ That does warm my heart!”
The gratitude our guests offer Linda has been a priceless gift.“My son had a winter jacket he no longer wanted. I gave it to a guest who became so overwhelmed he hugged me and continued to thank me days after.”
For Linda, this warmth she receives from guests is something that sustains her beyond the hours she
Spends volunteering. “I come back to help sere the hungry,” she says. “When I return home I experience a feeling of fulfillment knowing that I’ve done all I could do.”
Computer Lab Expands
Thanks to a collaboration of generous donors and volunteers, our fully equipped and staffed computer lab now has ten computers and has expanded its hours of operation from two to three afternoons a week. This program is geared to the varied needs of our guests, such as brushing up on computer skills, checking emails, and job searches. Joining the two teachers on board, a new social services adviser is enhancing our focus on resume writing and even job interview practice!
Tragically, the problem of hunger in New York City is not getting better. By leaving a legacy of love to Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in your planned giving arrangements you’re not only making a lasting impact on the lives of our guests today, but hungry New Yorkers tomorrow. Your attorney or financial planner can help you arrange your planned giving through bequests, trusts, gifts of stock or other assets based on your personal financial situation. Please contact Jane Van Ingen for more information.
Care2Share: Investors Bank makes it easy to support the soup kitchen!
Investors Bank offers an easy and free way to support the soup kitchen by doing what you are already doing. We all have to bank somewhere and if you open an account with Investors they will make a quarterly donation to the soup kitchen on your behalf with now cost to you! Find out more by calling Greg DeFrietas-Lee, Vice President, Retail Marketing Manger 718-855-8500, stopping by any Investors Bank branch, or just visiting www.myinvestorsbank.com
We’re proud to report that we were recently awarded a Gold participant status by the nonprofit research organization Guidestar, based on our financial transparency, legitimacy and impact so you know that your investment is being spent wisely to help those in the greatest need.