we serve our guests in varying ways:
30,000 meals served a year, counting Monday and Friday.
Over 2,500 hours of social service support that included:
Successfully advocating for senior citizens to prevent evictions
Assisting guests in reconnecting with their families
Making referrals to major medical and mental health services
Providing crisis intervention counseling to guests, including homeless seniors and veterans suffering from PTSD.
We are always looking for new sponsors. It is our goal to connect guests and sponsors to any resources they qualify for, food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and Veterans Benefits
Assisting in the securing of vital records for guests such as birth certificates
Providing job development assistance
Referring guests to housing, crisis centers, AIDS services, rehab facilities and veterans residences
Reaching out to homeless veterans
All are welcome and no one is ever turned away. We serve the diversity of New York City and never ask why someone is among us. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve. Our guests cover all ages and are about equally male and female. Many are homeless. Guests also come from various housing programs and shelters. A large elderly contingent return week after week for meals and companionship; and the numbers of families have been steadily increasing over the last two years.
The economic pressures on the unemployed and poor are a factor in the increase in meal services, and they depend more and more on our social service efforts for assistance.
OUR HEART IS iN OUR Food Preparation:
Nutrition is at the heart of our work and the team of cooks and supporters arrive every Monday at 4:00 PM to start the evening food preparation. Many evenings high school students help prepare the fresh vegetables and salads. While our protein source varies, most often it is chicken, but chicken prepared in a million creative ways – mexican, sweet & sour, parmesan, herb roasted, citrus, garlic and onion. The vegetables are steamed and the salad is made from fresh ingredients. Vegetarian and vegan options are made available to our guests. Our chefs are challenged to have meals for 300 guests finished every night at 7:00 PM. Other than for the reason of stove failures that goal is never missed. Rice with beans, mashed potatoes or another side such as potato salad or potatoes and onions accompanies the meal. Fresh bread is buttered and it comes in both crusty and whole wheat versions.
Why We Do This Work:
While dozens of Monday Night volunteers interviewed provide many reasons for joining us each week. A common tread runs through all of their reasons. Humanity calls out to them. Not just our own but the combined humanity of our volunteers and guests - the recognition of being equal travelers on this earth and in this city.
Love in the moment - is a way to look at Monday Night Hospitality. Each evening has thousands of moments of love exchanged between guests and volunteers. We have come to understand that our guests are a gift, a treasure that lets us be whole ourselves.