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.
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."