We will be closed on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 due to the predicted winter storm. As such, there will be no food deliveries to CHiPS or to St Marks Methodist Church. We will reopen Wednesday.
Dearest Friends of Brooklyn Relief Kitchen,
As we near the end of 2020, we’re reflecting on what a difficult year it’s been, and on how lucky we feel to have found a way to make a small difference for the folks who’ve had it really hard. We could not have done it without the hard work and kindness of our volunteers, community partners, and our generous donors who have supplied the funds to keep us feeding thousands each week.
Special thanks goes to our repeat benefactors and their sustaining support as our work continues.
Keep up-to-date with us!
Action Request: Join Our Mailing List
We have set up our very own mailing list for The Brooklyn Relief Kitchen, so that we can keep you apprised of our goings-on. GoFundMe is a wonderful portal to fundraise and appropriately, due to privacy, they do not share your contact information with us, beyond your name.
If you’d like to stay in touch, please follow the link to sign up:
No Spam. We won’t share and we won’t bombard you with emails!
Increased Needs on the Horizon
As the pandemic worsens and businesses struggle to stay afloat, the number of families in food crisis increases. The massive relief box distribution from Farms to Families is ending this week, and many other suppliers are winding down or losing government funding, which puts a big hurt on all those folks who’ve been depending on it for survival. The pantry & produce boxes we prepare for Workers’ Justice Project and Caribbean Women’s Health Association will become more essential than ever.
Which brings us to the actions of some very generous neighbors jumping in to help:
Local Food Drives
In an effort to increase the number of grocery kits we provide to families, donations of pantry goods are more crucial than ever. Neighborhood organizations, scout & school groups and local families have generously set up food drive events. The response has been fantastic. Very special thank you to the 5th Avenue BID, champions of small businesses.
Local shopkeepers who are helping with donation jars and food collection include Giftman, Good Wine, Acme Dog Run, Tarzian Hardware, Seawitch Tavern, Littleneck Restaurant and Slope Vintage, Cafe Martin, Ample Hills Creamery, and Planted Park Slope.
We thank them and hope you’ll support them!
Neighbors and Community
We give thanks to Old First Reformed Church – the generosity they’ve shown in providing their kitchen, workspace and operational support is literally the home and heart of our operation.
Our Donation Tent in front of the church is a daily reminder of the generosity that exists in our neighborhood. Whether it’s a dollar from a passerby or a car load of groceries someone drops off anonymously, every bit put to good use.
We’re grateful to a lot of wonderful people making a difference……
A collaboration between The Old Stone House, The Pablo Ramirez Foundation, The Skate Garden, and Friends of 51 Skate Park held a food drive and matching donation campaign, raising more than $1000 for the Kitchen.
Our volunteer Annie inspired her employers at AlgiKnit, a company developing eco-conscious algae-derived textiles, to collect a truckload of goods for us from the food drive they held at their offices at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.
A couple of local families of 5th graders from Brooklyn New School organized a drive outside Steve’s C-town and raised a tidy sum and a massive amount of excellent groceries.
Youngsters in the care of welearnwithanna held a Ladybug Food Drive and collected a ton of much-needed canned goods and baby food.
Our young friend Laila sold hot chocolate from a card table on PPW and donated $95 from her (very) independent efforts. PHOTO
Special thanks to Corcoran Realty for their kind donation of lovely new baby & toddler PJ’s and kids’ books, which will be distributed next week to the new mothers at Caribbean Womens’ Health Assoc in East Flatbush.
Join our mailing list to keep up with our progress!
Thanks to the Park Slope Civic Council for their generous donation. Here is a repost from their blog at https://parkslopeciviccouncil.org/the-civic-council-supports-the-brooklyn-relief-kitchenand-so-can-you/
The Civic Council Supports the Brooklyn Relief Kitchen…And So Can You!
|On Saturday, November 14, in recognition of the Brooklyn Relief Kitchen’s vital work in addressing the persistent hunger crisis throughout Brooklyn communities, the Park Slope Civic Council presented a $2,500 grant to Andy and Piper Wandzilak, BRK’s co-founders. Piper expressed her deep appreciation of the PSCC’s support by remarking that the grant will enable BRK to feed several thousand households in the coming weeks.|
|BRK’s collection tent in front of the Old First Reformed Church was an apt backdrop for the grant ceremony, since the church has provided BRK with the space to prepare thousands of hot meals since its operation began in June, 2020. Volunteers staff the tent every week from Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am to 2pm.|
The hot meals that the Brooklyn Relief Kitchen prepare are supplied to CHiPs Soup Kitchen and Camp Friendship, both in Park Slope; the Workers Justice Project; and the St. Marks United Methodist Church in Flatbush, all of which distribute meals to sustain many families and individuals whose livelihoods evaporated when the businesses that employed them shut their doors. Undocumented households have been a major recipient of BRK’s assistance, particularly as they have been denied Covid-19 relief benefits.
Since it appears likely that Covid-19 will be with us well into 2021, The Brooklyn Relief Kitchen’s services will continue to be needed to ameliorate food insecurity within our communities. Their task has been further complicated by ebbing Federal support for food programs in New York State.
For these reasons, we encourage our members, readers, and the Park Slope community to kindly chip in with financial support to enable the BRK to purchase food in bulk and continue their invaluable efforts in the community. Your donations enable BRK’s efforts to go much, much further.
Tax deductible financial donations can be made payable to BRK’s fiscal sponsor: The Old First Reformed Church, noting Brooklyn Relief Kitchen or BRK in the memo line, and sent to the church at: 729 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215, or simply dropped off at its collection tent in front of Old First Reformed Church on Seventh Avenue and Carroll Street.
|Additionally, if you are going on a food shopping expedition, you may also leave food items with the volunteers staffing the tent. The most urgently needed items are canned tuna, fruit, beans and soups, peanut butter/jelly, dried fruit and nuts, shelf-stable milk, pasta, rice and grains flour and sugar baby food/formula, baby supplies and disinfectant products. |
Please use your social media and email to urge your friends and neighbors to support Andy and Piper and the many volunteers who have made the Brooklyn Relief Kitchen an organization we can all be proud of.
The Park Slope Civic Council appreciates your generosity and commitment to this cause, as we embark on the upcoming holiday season. Thank you!
End of summer, early fall has turned out to be busier than anticipated for The Kitchen, though not surprisingly. As food insecurity in our community is growing, our small but mighty volunteer-led operation continues to expand and broaden its reach. We wish this was not the case, but here we are.
We have so many individuals, businesses and fellow organizations to thank – please know that all of us at The Kitchen are grateful for every share, dollar, food donation, muscle power and kind word that comes our way.
Chef Kate and The Kitchen volunteers produce over 1800 meals each week. Meals are distributed by our partner organizations: CHiPS, Camp Friendship, St. Mark’s Church, Worker’s Justice Project. We provide hearty servings of much-needed meatloaf, vegetables, bbq chicken, rice and bean dishes, comforting mac and cheese, soups and often a homemade baked treat as well.
Thanks to the USDA Farmers to Families program, and efforts involving a web of coordination with our friends at Council of People’s copo.org and Brooklyn Packers – who also work in tandem with The 9 Million Reasons Food Pantry at the Evangel Church in Queens which delivers 1,700 boxes of produce per week to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church and Worker’s Justice Project – we are able to assist in the city wide efforts to provide fresh ingredients for home cooking.
This means participants receive gallons of milk, eggs, cheese, grains, meat and vegetables. The Kitchen distributes hundreds of additional produce/pantry boxes as well for the bi-weekly pantry at St. Mark’s Church on Beverley Road, Worker’s Justice in Bensonhurst & Sunset Park, and the Camp Friendship Pantry. Our boxes are supplemented with local farm- fresh, seasonal vegetables generously donated by Brooklyn Grange/Sunset Park and The Flatbush Farm Share. On occasion, we even have a local neighbor donate heaps of freshly grown produce from her home garden in Sullivan County.
New Front Line Partner
Starting Thursday October 22, The Kitchen will be providing hot meals and produce/pantry boxes for The Caribbean Women’s Health Association (cwha.org). CWHA is a social service organization dedicated to providing high quality, culturally appropriate health, immigration and social support services to its diverse constituency. “Transforming Lives, Strengthening Families and Empowering Communities.”
In The Spotlight
On October 1st, Andy and Piper were invited to speak at The Park Slope Civic Council’s first in-person meeting since the pandemic, outside the Old Stone House, to share information about the Brooklyn Relief Kitchen. Attendees were very supportive and will continue to be a source of collaboration and assistance for The Kitchen.
On October 14th, Brooklyn Paper featured a story about The Kitchen. Access here: https://www.brooklynpaper.com/brooklyn-relief-kitchen-park-slope/
We are humbled by the response and action of the members of this community. The “Pay it Forward,” concept of donating all or a portion of the
P-EBT cards sent to public school families has helped us to raise over two thousand dollars, which goes towards purchasing ingredients and supplies. Others have chosen to use their EBT card to purchase pantry items and baking supplies for our generous and talented home bakers.
Two groups of neighbors, on Carroll Street and on Garfield Place, organized pantry drives during their recent respective block parties. They brought us 4 boxes and 2 wagon-fulls loaded with fantastic goodies!
Extra Special Thanks To
The employees of the new Ample Hills Ice Cream, who have amply (!) shared our efforts with the new owners, who in turn matched donations that went directly to our organization. Likewise, big thanks for the donation of a giant chest freezer, which we urgently needed!
The Carroll Street Block Association for including us in their giving plans.
The Brooklyn Blade Youth Hockey Club, for their very generous check to support both BRK and Camp Friendship.
In perpetuity – thanks to our wonderful and dedicated volunteers!
**If you would like to organize a small food drive or event like the above, or have questions about how to use your EBT card, please message us at email@example.com
As always, we ask that you share our GoFundMe page, like us on the Facebook and Instagram, and help spread the word to Keep Brooklyn Fed.
Starting Friday October 23 – The Kitchen will be providing hot meals and produce/pantry boxes for The Caribbean Women’s Health Association (cwha.org). CWHA is a social service organization dedicated to providing high quality, comprehensive, culturally appropriate health, immigration and social support services to its diverse constituency. “Transforming Lives, Strengthening Families and Empowering Communities.”
As a result we are now accepting/requesting donations for baby formula, baby food, and baby supplies at our daily food drive tent.
Transforming Lives, Strengthening Families and Empowering Communities.
Brooklyn Relief Kitchen featured in brooklynpaper.com in an article by Ben Verde.
“A Park Slope-based food bank is seeing no dip in demand as the pandemic drags on, and is plotting ways to continue their effort to keep Brooklynites fed in a post-COVID world.
The Brooklyn Relief Kitchen, a volunteer-led organization that launched in June to help supply a local soup kitchen with hot meals, is still cooking up hundreds of meals a week, and demand has only continued to grow… ”
Read more HERE.
Great Heights! Today we had our first abundant and lush donation from Brooklyn Grange. Not only are they the leaders in rooftop farming in the US, they operate the WORLD’s largest rooftop soil farms, located on three roofs in New York City, and grow over 100,000 lbs of organically-cultivated produce per year.
They are fiercely dedicated to community and giving back, educational programming and events, in addition to growing and distributing fresh vegetables at their own rooftop farms and various markets around the city. If you don’t know about them yet, be sure to follow and visit their site, and do some socially distant shopping at their rooftop markets on the weekend.
We are so very grateful for the plentiful bounty of arugula, herbs, heirloom carrots and radishes. We were able to add veggies to over 100 produce packages to @stmarksumcbklyn. Arugula is washed and ready to be made into vats of pesto. So thankful! .
Hello Friends of The Kitchen,
First and foremost, as of writing this update, we have just reached our first fundraising goal of $35,000. We are humbled and full of thanks!
August at The Kitchen was our busiest yet. More thanks to your incredibly generous donations, we had the resources to fill a big need in the local Brooklyn community. While our frontline partner organization Chips was closed for repairs and respite, our dedicated volunteers set up in front of the building Monday to Friday to distribute over 800 meals a week, including lots of well received servings of watermelon! During the last week we had a visit from our local champion and council member Brad Lander. Thank you!
Numerous local businesses and individuals also donated supplemental meals and resources. We are particularly thankful to the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID (@TheOther5th) for helping to spread the word about our work. We received an anonymous donation to our Gofundme last week for $10,000, leaving us beyond thrilled and thankful that we can put those funds towards thousands of meals.
Work Day Changes: Tuesday to Saturday
Brooklyn Relief Kitchen is providing more and more meals and produce/pantry boxes to our frontline partners. New Yorkers continue to face long stretches of unemployment, food insecurity and our most vulnerable seniors and populations continue to practice social distance/safety by staying away from public places and food shopping.
To better meet the needs of our partners The Kitchen will now operate Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am to 2pm.
Our food drive drive outside of Old First Church will also change its schedule. Tuesday thru Saturday 10am – 2pm.
Chip’s will serve our hot meals:
Tuesdays thru Saturdays 11:30am to 1pm
200 4th Ave. @Sackett St. Brooklyn
Camp Friendship will serve our hot meals:
Saturdays 10am to 2pm
Park Slope United Methodist Church
410 6th Ave. @ 8th Street Brooklyn.
September is Hunger Awareness Action Month
As thousands of New Yorker’s are facing hunger, some for the first time as a result of the pandemic, we continue preparation and delivery of more than 1800 meals and pantry boxes a week to a growing number of clients at St. Marks United Methodist Church, Camp Friendship, Worker’s Justice Project and Heights and Hills Senior Services. Later in the month we will announce our collaboration with some new frontline partners. As we and everyone else seems to roll with the punches in these most uncertain times, we are dedicated to our vision of preparing fresh, warm, nutritious meals. Keeping Brooklyn Strong, By Keeping Brooklyn Fed.
All the Ways to Donate:
One of our super volunteers anonymously donated $700 to The Kitchen, only to be matched by their employer, Apple! Big thx.
Tuesday through Saturday 10-2pm we are outside at Old First Church 7th Avenue and Carroll St. collecting monetary donations and pantry items!
–Pay it Forward EBT Card:
In the coming weeks every public school student will receive an EBT card valued at $420. If you are fortunate enough, part or all of the value of this card can be donated via the GoFundMe campaign. Many have already started to do this, we thank you so much. *Be sure to mention when donating.
As our fabulous high school and college student volunteers start heading back to school (in one form or another), we have a few openings for kitchen prep and packing volunteers. Please contact us at
info @ brooklynreliefkitchen.org for details.
Small Biz Thanks and Support Your Local:
–Shout out to Dontis Produce, who Andy and Piper have been working with for over 35 years, for supplying The Kitchen with donated and discounted produce.
Family Owned + Operated Wholesale Produce Company Since 1962 Now Delivering Veggie & Fruit Boxes to Local Residence Reserve Today: www.dontisproduce.com
Please continue to follow us on Instagram @BkReliefKitchen, Facebook /BrooklynReliefKitchen and help us to spread the word.
Be safe and healthy.
Council member Brad Lander came by and pitched in during our last week at Chips. We thank him for his support and for always showing up. Big Thanks also to our wonderful volunteers and Brother Tom.