Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Another mission to feed those in need in the neighborhood

Text and photos by Stacie Joy 

With a healthy budget this time around ($972 donated entirely from EVG readers) combined with a more focused and streamlined setup, the anonymous restaurateur couple set out to feed and provide clothing and personal-care items to 72 of our neighbors without fixed addresses. 

Shying away from increased media attention, the couple had caught the eye of the local NBC News affiliate, though ultimately deciding to turn down the coverage in order to focus on the mission, which is helping others and not drawing the spotlight onto themselves. 

A lot had been learned from all the previous missions (here, here and here), and a better sense of how to shop, source, and set-up the service had been crafted. 

The family knew where to go and what items might be most needed. They learned how to best approach people, preserving their dignity, and how to best get assistance (harm-reduction supplies like an opioid-overdose-reversal kit) to those who may benefit. 

They learned to ask people what they may want for lunch, to approach it from a service offering rather than forcing food on them.
And with that knowledge a clearer sense of who might not be receptive to the delivering of meals and goods from the vehicle. 

The couple knew who may need some of the special stock of goods kept to the side (dog food, extra pineapple juice and cookies for those with a desire for sugar), women’s clothes and personal-hygiene kits for the women who had approached us, red-faced, before asking for underwear, bras and sanitary pads. 

When this recent day of service was completed, the couple told me they might need to recalibrate, streamline and look in the future for a way to partner with more people in the city and community to help. 

These projects are time-consuming and between planning, sourcing, shopping, prepping, cooking, assembling, packaging and serving it takes a lot out of the team. This run includes a special shout-out to Leslie Feinberg at Subject for baking 72 individually wrapped cookies, to Christopher Pugliese at Tompkins Square Bagels for making bagel chips to accompany the couple’s hummus dip, and EV Loves NYC for the gift of individual hand sanitizers sprays for the personal-care kits. 

Says the couple: "Desperation is increasing, more folks needing food, and are asking for money, food and supplies as more people lose work, their homes. The need is growing, and the situation is only going to increase."


Anonymous said...

god bless these wonderful souls!

afbp said...

i LOVE/ADMIRE---new yorkers :)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful endeavor, and undertaken with such thoughtfulness and consideration for the people they're serving.

Anonymous said...

All respect and admiration to these fine people! I know it feels like an uphill battle in NYC (and I'm sure elsewhere), b/c the need has increased so much.

I hope these wonderful people know that their kindness, respect, consideration & care matter VERY much to every single person they encounter.

It's hard to serve increasing numbers of people while expending so much time, energy, money and thoughtfulness. I'm not sure how this can be scaled up, but I definitely want to say: GOD BLESS YOU to everyone involved, for what you're doing and have done. You are making a real difference by giving of yourselves in this way, whether or not it proves sustainable in the long run.

It would be great if NYC's social services, or other social help organizations, would take ADVICE from this couple about how to help & approach people in a considerate way, namely: without insulting them in respect of their situation or needs! NYC, IMO, needs to re-think its entire approach to those in need of food, medical assistance & shelter.

I dream of a day when anyone in need is offered help in a truly respectful way such as this couple does; that may be a dream, but it's a dream worth holding onto.

Emily said...

This is just so lovely. I'd love to volunteer to help - is there a way I can do so?

Dan said...


Unknown said...

How can someone donate to help these people out? I know they want to stay anonymous...

Sarah said...

You're working on some very difficult problems. Thank you.

Amy Berkov said...

Is there a way to make donations?

Unknown said...

❤❤❤❤❤ beautiful.

Stacie J. said...

Forgive the delay, things have been hectic. The anonymous couple reports that they are considering a fall/winter service day, with (perhaps) hot soup and roasted veggies as well as care products for those in need.

For those who have expressed an interest in contributing, please feel free to email me at thepixeltrix @ gmail dot com. The couple is also interested in partnering with local purveyors who may have goods to donate to the mission. Thank you, EVGrieve readers!