Weekend Meals Program Underway Since Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen launched the Backpack Pantry Program in December of 2018, participation has been steadily growing, with over 100 households currently enrolled. We started the program to ensure that families have access to meals on weekends, when many soup kitchens are closed and school meals are unavailable.
Ashley has her family’s weekend meals ready to go.
The program is serving households with children and also seniors like Barbara, who worked as an administrative assistant for 23 years. She lives alone and receives just $13 a month in SNAP [food stamps] benefits. Ms. Green is grateful to have food to cook with on the weekends. “The people at the Soup Kitchen are pleasant and do not make you feel bad about coming here,” she said.
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“And it is awesome to see people of different nationalities working here and also using the service.” The impact of this program can be seen each week, as dozens of families line up as early as 12:30pm, well in advance of the 3:00pm start time. Each week through the program, pre-registered households receive a backpack filled with non-perishable items including tuna fish, soup, fruit cups, rice, beans, almonds, cereal, and shelf-stable milk. The following Friday, they exchange their empty backpack for a new one that is again filled with food. To round out the meals, we recently began distributing loaves of fresh bread and fresh fruit along with the backpacks. “One of every ten NYC students enrolled in public schools lived in a homeless shelter during the last school year,” according to a recent Advocates for Children of New York report. In 2017, seeing the need for food firsthand, we began providing brown bag lunches to 75 homeless families with children attending PS 33 Chelsea Prep, located across the street from the Soup Kitchen.
Barbara learned about the program through a flyer in her Chelsea lobby.
Since we opened our doors in 1982, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen has been committed to adding programs that will help as many people as possible – and nothing makes us happier right now than seeing the smiles of appreciation each week at our Backpack Pantry Program. Yanyu and her daughter are thankful for the new program.
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NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson to be Honored at 7th Annual Farm to Tray Presented by VIP Reception: 6:00pm General Admission: 6:30pm Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen will host its 7th annual Farm to Tray, presented by Google, on Thursday, May 16, 2019, in the landmark sanctuary of Church of the Holy Apostles. This year’s event will honor New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson for his dedicated and ongoing support of the Soup Kitchen. At this delightful spring event, well-respected chefs from across the city prepare a tasting menu that mirrors the Soup Kitchen’s commitment to using locally grown produce to create nutritious and delicious meals. Attendees will enjoy food and beverage samplings, live music from the talented jazz band from Avenues: The World School, and the opportunity to bid on restaurant and travel experiences in the silent auction.
CULINARY PARTNERS • Ralpheal Abrahante Thalassa • Robert Cho Kimchi Smoke • Laurence Edelman Left Bank and Poulet Sans Tête • John Hayes Renaissance New York Times Square • Yvan Lemoine Gitano NYC
VIP RECEPTION WHOLE FOODS PRESENTS THE WOMEN OF FARM TO TRAY
• Shakira Cruz Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen • Kim Huskey Food@Google
• Ginger Pierce Jams • Caroline Schiﬀ
• Preston Madson II Buco Alimentari & Vineria • Dominick Pepe Boucherie and Olio e Piú • Craig Reid Convene • Raﬀaele Volpe San Matteo Pizza • Brad Warner Bodega Negra
Visit www.farmtotray.org for ticket info. HASK SPRING 19 Newsletter.indd 2
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Appetite For Music quartet (left to right) Charlie Descarfino (drums), Bill Ellison (bass), Ralph Olsen (sax), and Jim Hershman (guitar).
Appetite for Music If you think you’ve been hearing a Mozart Divertimento or Duke Ellington’s Take the A Train coming from the Soup Kitchen you’re not mistaken. Over the past seven years, bassist Bill Ellison has been gathering friends to play during our weekday meal service. One afternoon it might be a classical quintet and another it might be a jazz quartet. It all depends on who’s available. Come evening, many of these musicians can be found in the orchestras of New York City’s biggest Broadway shows. Right now, Bill is filling in on Aladdin and My Fair Lady and playing regularly with the New York Pops, the American Symphony and New York City Ballet, in addition to teaching at LaGuardia High School and privately. On tour, he’s shared the stage with Barbra Streisand, Bernadette Peters and Patti Lupone. Here at the Soup Kitchen, Bill has played with over 150 musicians, 55 times, and he’s already booking future dates. “New York has the greatest musicians in the world but you have to have money to hear them, unless they’re brought to you,” says Bill. “That’s what we’re doing.” One afternoon a Soup Kitchen guest came over to look at the iPad the quartet was using for chord changes. After studying it, the man asked, “Mind if I sit in?” Bill wasn’t sure how things would go but he agreed, and the man reached into a bowling bag and pulled out an old silver trumpet. “He did a solo on Girl
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from Ipanema and you’d have thought it was Winston Marsalis!” Bill exclaims with a smile. “The man thanked us, put his horn back in the bag, took a bite of his lunch, and we never saw him again.” “Every person has a story,” Bill says, “and if we can bring joy and dignity to someone’s day, we’ve done it.” He’ll never forget the Soup Kitchen guest who told him, “For the time you’re here, I feel like a human being.” “It’s the people that keep me coming back, they’re so appreciative.” In 2007, he started volunteering as a food server with his daughter. When he saw a guest sit down to play the piano, he immediately recognized that this was something he could also do to give back. That night he went to the string section of Porgy and Bess, where he was working, and asked who wanted to join him. The response was overwhelming, and today people ask him about upcoming Soup Kitchen gigs. “My musician colleagues are so generous with their time and enthusiasm, and for that I’m eternally grateful.” These musicians have a great time playing together, and they’ve spent years honing their craft. Bill grew up in Detroit and perfected his skills with a Master’s Degree from Juilliard. He notes some say music is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, but he sees it more as 10% inspiration and 90% preparation. We’d go one step further. Bill and his friends are 100% inspiration.
Since fall 2018, Robin Baxter has provided on-site haircuts for Soup Kitchen guests every Wednesday. The free service aligns with our holistic approach of providing “soup + soul” to New Yorkers in need.
Back on Your Feet
Just as the winter weather began, Nicole (above) and Gary Loffredo of Back on Your Feet collected and distributed much-needed footwear to our guests. Thank you Bill, Robin, Nicole, and Gary for volunteering your time and services for our Soup Kitchen guests!
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Bite Sized Going Green The 338,230 pounds of rescued food we cooked with in 2018 prevented 642,637 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent from being produced.
ed v r e S s l Mea 82 Since 19
Soup and Soul
Our Social Services counselors met with guests 60,135 times in 2018, providing a variety of services that included:
9,535 Clothing Items
494 Housing/Shelter Referrals
37,555 Hygiene Kits & Haircuts
6,656 Mail & Phone
239 Medical Referrals
1,323 Reading Glasses
Calling All Good Corporat
It’s never too early to ma ke your holiday team-building plans with our Good Corporate Citizen Program. If you’d like to schedule your company’s October, Novem ber and December volunteer days, please cal l (212) 924-0167 (x118 or x113).
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rg kitchen.o p u o s s le st Holyapo
Thank you to everyone who helped us raise $7,803 for our Layers of Love pop-up fundraiser this winter. We provided 780 Soup Kitchen guests with a package of warm gloves, socks, thermals, and a hat.
Estate Planning Join our 1982 Circle to en sure that Soup Kitchen me als will be available for anyone tha t needs them in years to co me. For more info, or to let us know that you have includ ed the Soup Kitchen in your plans , please call (646) 998 – 61 04 or email plannedgiving@h olyapostlessoupkitchen.or g
296 Ninth Avenue New York, NY 10001. (212) 924 0167 www.holyapostlessoupkitchen.org HASK SPRING 19 Newsletter.indd 4
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