Wednesday, April 15, 2020
A visit to the Interfaith Community Services Food For Life
It’s a gray day when I meet up with the team at Interfaith Community Services’ Food For Life, headquartered at 325 E. Fifth St. between First and Second Avenues, but the rain seems to be holding off for now.
Adi Purusha, trustee for Interfaith and one of today’s cooks, greets me and shows me the kitchari he’s made — this one with asparagus, cauliflower, rice and lentils. There's also banana bread with vanilla vegan icing, bowls of tangerines, sliced strawberries and a vat of jasmine tea with lemon.
The group provides approximately 2,500 hot vegetarian meals per month to homeless and those in need at Tompkins Square Park, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. I walk over to Tompkins Square Park while the van loads up and heads out.
The Food For Life team hops out of their van to set up the tent, tables, pots, and serving supplies like cups, bowls and spoons while a large line forms up Avenue A from Seventh Street through 10th Street, all the while maintaining social distancing.
Food service goes quickly, with each person getting to request their pleasure. One regular puts in a request for extra tangerines while another declines the banana bread due to his diabetes. All leave happy.
“If the cook is angry, the food will be angry too,” Purusha tells me, and smiles. “Our food is cooked with consciousness and love.”