October Update

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.

Hot Meals

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.

Produce/Pantry Boxes

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/

Creative Giving

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 info@brooklynreliefkitchen.org

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.