Masbia is a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry, every day providing hot, nutritious meals for hundreds of New Yorkers in desperate need of food. Alongside our hot-meal program, we also give out bags of much-needed groceries every week to those with not enough at home, through our weekend take-home package program. Masbia works to not only feed the hungry, but to provide free, wholesome, and delicious meals for people in a restaurant-style environment, with volunteer waiters serving each person with respect and dignity.
Masbia was founded just over sixteen years ago in April 2005 with one goal in mind - no one should go to sleep hungry, even if they could not afford a meal that day. The idea was to set up a restaurant-style ambiance that allowed people to be fed with dignity. Masbia was actually featured in People Magazine in 2014 as a “restaurant without a cash-register”.
In 2009, after the great recession, Masia opened more locations. The expansion was even mentioned on Saturday Night Live. Masbia now runs three locations in New York City, two in Brooklyn and one in Queens. (Masbia of Boro Park, Masbia of Flatbush, and Masbia of Queens)
A couple of years in, Masbia staff started giving people raw food to take home. It quickly turned into a weekly food package distribution that by now dwarfs in volume the amount of food given out at the restaurant. Now Masbia operates two programs, one known as Soup-Kitchen, where people are served ready-to-eat dinners, and the other as Food-Pantry, where people receive raw food ingredient packages to take with them.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Masbia Soup Kitchen Network has mobilized to respond to the emergency food needs in our community. Masbia is continuing to respond to a 500% increase in demand. Each day, 500 families visit Masbia every day at each of our three locations. That means about 1,500 families a day and 7,500 every week get food relief from Masbia.
Masbia is a grass-roots, hand-to-mouth organization where every dollar donated makes it into someone's stomach in less than two weeks. Everything that is done at Masbia is done only because tens of thousands of people come together and share resources to make it happen.