Hunger continues

| 22 Feb 2012 | 05:03

Soup kitchen meals now exceed 5,000 mark MONROE - Our Father’s Kitchen, the Monroe-based soup kitchen operating at Sacred Heart Chapel, has exceeded the 5,000 mark for meals provided to those in need. Nearly 100 people take advantage of a free, hot meal every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the kitchen, according to Betsy Johnston, coordinator of Sacred Heart Parish Outreach and its soup kitchen program. And, Johnston noted, business and community groups continue to be gracious in their support of this flagship of the parish’s outreach program. Most recently, Stop & Shop in Monroe donated $3,000 from a community collection gathered at cash registers to assist the kitchen to feed those who are hungry. Laura Mendez, Stop & Shop’s front-end coordinator, asked her cashiers to ask customers if they would donate $1 during the drive held late last year. Cashiers Derek Tiborsky and Christina Mazza raised most of the $3,000, according to Johnston. Other events held by the cashiers to raise money included cake sales and hot dog days. Johnston thanked Stop & Shop store manager Andy Abramowitz for being such a staunch soup kitchen supporter. “This guy is so happy to give and the thing is that he’s encouraged all this generosity from his employees,” said Johnston. “It’s one thing to give but another thing to encourage others to give.” Business and community organizations who wish to contribute in some way should call the soup kitchen at 783-7840. - Nancy Kriz

By the numbers
Our Father’s Kitchen
5,200: Meals have been served at Our Father’s Kitchen since September 2009.
3,000: Number of miles logged by volunteer drivers to bring people from Monroe, South Blooming Grove and Central Valley - who have no transportation - to the soup kitchen since September 2009.
Our Mother’s Cupboard
Based at the soup kitchen, Our Mother’s Cupboard just marked its one year of community service to disadvantaged mothers who need food and other sundry items for their babies and toddlers.
33,000 diapers and 1,000 boxes of wipes were distributed since February 2010
200 jars of baby food continue to be distributed weekly