The Brooklyn Relief Kitchen will be on hiatus, as electrical renovations and repairs begin at Old First Church. We hope to be back at Old First in the Fall.
This week is our final distribution of milk, chicken and produce bags to 600 families through our frontline partners St Marks UMC Church, Caribbean Women’s Health Associates and the West Indian Day Carnival Association, as well as our final week of distributing hot meals to Camp Friendship and Heights and Hills.
For the time being, we are suspending our fundraising activity on Go Fund Me until we return to the Kitchen. We’ll be sharing our remaining resources with our frontline partners and using this hiatus-time to complete some much-needed renovations to the church kitchen. We thank all our donors and volunteers for the incredible support that enabled us to distribute over 100,000 hot meals and well over 1 million pounds of produce, milk, meat and pantry items to our neighbors in need.
Together we have made a meaningful impact on the lives of thousands of families in food crisis throughout this last, very challenging year.
Due to a change in the renovation schedule at Old First Church, we will be able to extend our hot meal program into June with some changes. Starting June 1, the kitchen will be open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and our Food Drive Tent will be staffed on Friday and Saturdays. We thank Old First Church for their continued support of our mission.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support. With your help we have distributed over one million pounds of produce, milk and pantry items and served over one hundred thousand hot meals over the last year. We’ve felt truly fortunate to have been able to create a community of loyal volunteers and donors who together have found a way to do good for others.
As summer approaches we will be shifting gears and making changes to our operations. Because of necessary electrical and building renovations to Old First Church, our work preparing hot meals will be pausing at the end of May. The church has graciously delayed their repairs for 10 months to enable us to continue using the kitchen space, but the work must finally begin.
During our hiatus from the church space, we will continue to provide pantry goods and fresh groceries to our partnering organizations in Brooklyn, as long as funding allows. Additionally, we hope to use the downtime at the church to make some much needed improvements to the Old First kitchen with an eye to continued service and for use in future food emergencies. We plan to return to Old First after renovations are completed, but that will not be until sometime in the fall.
To that end, we’ll be holding fund-raising events and food drives in front of the church and elsewhere, to support summer operations and renovation.
We are very grateful to the Old First for their generosity; the community support we have received from Park Slope and all corners of Brooklyn and beyond has been inspiring, and instrumental in providing food relief to our neighbors in need. We invite you to stay abreast of our progress through our newsletter and social media channels.
If you are able, we would ask that you consider helping us reach our goal of $100,000 by the end of May so we can keep providing, milk, produce and pantry items throughout the summer. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.
Andy and Piper Wandzilak, Founders Kate O’Donnell, Executive Chef
Special thanks to Monet, a sixth grader at MS 447 Math and Science on Dean Street. As part of her experiential learning, she explored Food Justice and organizations tackling food insecurity in the neighborhood. She and her mom came by to see The Kitchen and to deliver much needed pantry items for our distribution. At BRK we are continually floored and thankful to all of the young people who have taken an interest and action and have played such an integral part in helping out in the community.
Huge thank you to @squintsnyc Max McCurdy, skateboarder, organizer, silk screener, star. He stopped by to drop off a check for over $800, raised from clothing sales and events he’s organized with @brooklynskategarden@oldstonehousebklyn. That’s meals for 200+ people!
The amazing and wonderful volunteer and co-creator of @apartment3pizza Rachel Guttman BRK’s own lovely and amazing Piper Wandzilak. Rachel and her boyfriend have raised more than $2200 for The Kitchen through the sales of their mouthwatering pizzas!
Announcing, our first ever Soup for Soup Pop Up Fundraiser. Usher in those early Spring Equinox vibes and help support BRK at the same time. Pre-order some of *Chef Kate’s Famous Soups for a suggested donation of $20, which will help us to make 6x the amount of soup for those in need. Taking orders today thru Wed. March 17th.
Here’s how it works:
1. Check out the menu above. (Veggie & Chicken). Soups come in pint containers, accompanied by fresh baked bread from *ACQ Bread Co. in Carroll Gardens. (seriously amazing).
3. Suggested donation is $20 per pint. Order as many as you like.
PLEASE PLACE YOUR ORDER BY: WED. March 17th (Midnight :)) 4. Payment at time of Pick-up: Cash or Check (made out to Old First Reformed Church – Memo: For Brooklyn Relief Kitchen).
5. PICK-UP Saturday March 20, in front of Old First 7th Avenue and Carroll Street Brooklyn
6. Enjoy, and feel good about eating good soup, and donating to a good cause. And, Happy Spring!
* Back in 2012 Chef Kate O’Donnell was a volunteer with Andy and Piper’s Sandy Relief Kitchen. In June 2020, she rejoined the team as the full time volunteer Chef at The Kitchen. Every week since, with the help of volunteers, she has prepared more than 60,000 free meals, for those in need. Previously the chef de cuisine at three star, upscale Italian restaurant Esca, her specialities are Mediterranean Cuisine with a heavy leaning towards fish, which you can see from her instagram over at @ChefLifeByTheSea.
*ACQ Bread Co. started up during the pandemic in 2020 as well. Tyler Steinbrenner, a fermentation master/chef has grown his operation, selling and raising money to also donate loaves of bread which he now does weekly for The Kitchen. His skill and breads are unrivaled.
We are excited to announce our partnership with another organization. Housing Plus serves the East New York area of Brooklyn. Their mission is to provide community-based housing and comprehensive services to women, including women with children, to support them in overcoming poverty, homelessness, addiction, trauma, and the effects of incarceration, in order to build lives of stability, and to define and realize goals for themselves and for their families.
We are happy to assist their mission with frozen prepared food and food pantry supplies.