Providing Fresh Meals, Social Services + Medical Screenings
For over 38 years, Monday Night Hospitality has served restaurant-style meals to those in need in New York City. Each guest is important to us. We believe that everyone, whatever his or her life circumstance, deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.
Monday Night Hospitality and its companion social services effort, Outreach Information Services, provides over 18,000 meals a year to those most in need (the homeless, elderly, unemployed and poor) in a unique setting. Every Monday, without fail, over 100 volunteers serve a hot, home cooked meal in a restaurant style setting with flatware, tablecloths, flowers and music. The goal is to create an atmosphere of dignity and respect such that our guests can leave us feeling that they are indeed loved and comforted and a part of our community.
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.
Every week, 100 volunteers welcome over 400 guests each Monday night for a restaurant style meal. On Fridays upwards of 300 guests come for a similar experience at lunch time.
Our volunteers serve a full meal, from salad to dessert, to anyone who comes to the table. Over a dozen chefs volunteer their time as the meal is the starting point of our service. As equally important is the care, love and compassion from our volunteers that establishes a bond with our guests. Often guests seek out volunteers to tell them how they are doing - about a possible job or apartment. There lives and ours are bound in beautiful dance of love and compassion. Enrolling friends and family members as well as colleagues increases the awareness of those that are marginalized in our society. Encouraging the college students that join us bridges the divide between generations.
Social services have become as important as nutrition to our guests, and the combination of these offerings has made our services both unique and highly effective. We have received specific grants to expand this service outside of the MNH and Friday programs. Our first expansion was to 5th Ave Presbyterian Church, where our social worker now has an office and is also on their staff and sees many of our guests on Wednesdays when we can't accommodate them on Monday or Friday at All Souls. The result is a wonderful partnership in the service of those in need.
On Monday night (and in our companion program, Friday Lunch), a social worker provides counseling, intervention and aid as needed. Often it involves getting IDs, referrals to addiction treatment programs, items of clothing including shoes, housing and help getting into shelters.
MNH has dedicated Corporate Sponsors who provide discount on supplies, kitchen equipment, specialty meals, bread, vegetables and most importantly their own volunteers. Many donors such as Candle79 provide vegan meals for a healthy option or our restaurant kitchen supplier, Sung Kung, has donated coffee makers, a meat cutter and other equipment. They both believe it is in their companies’ opportunity to give back to the community. The same can be said for Dominic, a Duane Reade manager who arranged for a night of free flu vaccinations in the All Souls Chapel. We recommend that all volunteers approach their favorite restaurants and food suppliers. Fairway sold us our Christmas turkey breasts at a major discount a few years ago.
Get in touch if you think your corporation is a good match with MNH.
It will allow for:
Replacement of our aging and inadequate refrigeration/freezer food storage
Provide more food storage and allow us to open a Food Pantry with meals our guests can home with them during the week
It will qualify for United Way Grants and we will be able to accept bulk meal ingredients from City Harvest and the Food Bank
Swap out some food items for organic options and add nutrition classes
City Harvest will support cooking classes for our guests
Our social workers can continue making progress in restoring the lives of our guests
Local middle and high school students will be able to volunteer to prepare food pantry bags.
Some of the farms offering produce are veteran run and provide jobs in New Jersey and Connecticut supporting them will be very gratifying