Thursday, 31 March 2011
Written by 5TJT Staff
BROOKLYN, NY -- New York City Comptroller John Liu visited the Masbia soup kitchen on Coney Island Avenue. As chief fiscal officer for New York City, Liu experienced firsthand the plight of New York`s unfortunate and the effect that the current state of the economy has on real people.
The soup kitchen guests, who arrived for dinner, were greeted by surprise volunteer Liu dressed in a Masbia apron and ready to serve them a hot, nourishing meal. The site opened in November 2009 as part of the Met Council and UJA response to the economic crises. It is one of three soup kitchens opened during the recession. The kitchen on Coney Island Avenue serves as the central kitchen and prepares 500 dinners a day, which get distributed to the four sites. Meals are cooked on a daily basis with an emphasis on fresh produce from the New York City Food Bank and City Harvest.
Masbia soup kitchen started as a grassroots charity to feed the hungry. Over the past five years, Masbia served over 250,000 meals, which means thousands of people (many of them children) have gone to bed with food in their stomachs, full and content. Masbia opened with the hope that people in the community would support its efforts to fight hunger and relies largely on private donations.
Liu`s visit comes as the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty (Met Council) and Masbia are gearing up for Passover, with preparations for large-scale distributions of food for the hungry. "On Passover we say `Everyone in need should come and eat,` but at Masbia we say this all year round,"� said Alexander Rapaport, executive director of Masbia.
This Passover season, Met Council is gearing up to feed an estimated 50,000 Jewish families in need, distributing over 2.5 million pounds of food. Necessities such as matzah, grape juice, tuna, oil, and other kosher for Passover items will be distributed to seniors and families in need, helping them make this a bountiful and festive Passover season.
"With increasing food prices and reduced government aid, more households than ever are turning to their local food pantries for assistance," said Met Council CEO William E. Rapfogel. "The enormous amount of food that we are able to distribute across the city will make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of New Yorkers this Passover season."
"In a tough time like we are faced with these last few years, Masbia is absolutely what we need. In fact, it is so good here at Masbia that it`s just a matter of time before Tim Zagat gets here and rates this place for his guide," said Comptroller Liu.
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