Brooklyn, NY – Group Of Council Members And The Speaker Eat At Soup-kitchen To Defuse Stigma‏


    Sharing a hot and delicious meal at Masbia, L-R: a Masbia guest (not seen in the photo), Speaker Christine Quinn, Councilmember Mike Nelson, Councilmember Jumaane Williams, and Councilmember David Greenfield; (behind) Alexander Rapaport (Masbia) and Leslie Gordon (City Harvest)Brooklyn, NY – A large delegation of City Council members volunteered on Monday their time and energy at Masbia soup kitchen on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn in order to witness firsthand the plight of New York’s unfortunate and the effect that the current state of the economy has on real people. The site on Coney Island Avenue opened in November 2009 as part of the UJA, Met Council and MASBIA response to the economic crises. It is one of three soup kitchens they opened during the recession.

    Among the City Council members who came to Masbia today were Councilmember Domenic Recchia, Councilmember David Greenfield, Councilmember Jumaane Williams, Councilmember Brad Lander, Councilmember Mike Nelson, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Others in attendance included Rabbi David Cohen and Ilene Marcus from Met Council, Joel Berg, executive director of New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH), Bob Lewis from NYS Dept of Agriculture and Markets, Alyssa Herman, VP of Fund Development from FoodBank NYC, and Leslie Gordon, senior director of agency relations at City Harvest and Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus of COJO of Flatbush.

    This high-profile volunteer event preceded a NYC Council joint oversight hearing on fighting hunger in New York City, scheduled for later in the afternoon. Masbia is a prime location for this delegation from the City Council to visit and lend a helping hand, due to its mission of feeding as many people in need as possible with meals that are nutritious and complete.
    CM Domenic-Recchia, CM Brad-Lander, Speaker-Quinn, Zaid-Kurdieh Norwich Meadow Farms, CM Jumaane-Williams, CM David-Greenfield, CM Mike-Nelson, Bob-Lewis NYS Agriculture, Joel-Berg-NYCCAH.
    Councilmember David Greenfield introduced Masbia and the work that they do to the rest of the City Council delegation. Being familiar with Masbia’s operations given the fact that Masbia’s central kitchen lies in his district, Greenfield pointed out the fact that this past year, Masbia saw almost a 300 percent increase in meals served to those in need. Masbia serves 500 hot dinners every day, five nights a week through its four sites across New York. Masbia also distributes several hundreds of take-home weekend packages a week through its food pantry program.

    “I am proud to be here volunteering at a place like Masbia,” Speaker Quinn announced to the press present at the event. “Masbia works on the model of serving people with dignity, and more social services need to adopt this model as the best model.” Councilmember Brad Lander also spoke on this issue of dignity, praising Masbia for its open-door and no-means-testing policy. He positively commented on the diversity of people eating at Masbia’s tables.

    During this special volunteer event with the City Council delegation, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) made a wonderful donation of 50 kosher turkeys to Masbia for its Thanksgiving food distribution, at Speaker Quinn’s request.

    Masbia soup kitchen network started as a grassroots charity to feed the hungry. Masbia operates a total of 4 sites throughout Brooklyn and Queens. In the past fiscal year alone, Masbia served 165,817 meals made possible by our affiliate Met Council and our 15,000 unique private donors from all over New York, which means thousands of people (many of them children) have gone to bed with food in their stomachs, full and content. Although Masbia’s past $2.1 million budget was almost entirely made up for by private donations, several key City Council members and the Speaker had allocated $94,000 of city funding to Masbia.

    Working together to stir the pot, from-left-to-right-Speaker-Christine-Quinn, Councilmember DavidGreenfield, Councilmember Jumaane Williams, CM Domenic-Recchia, CM Mike-Nelsen, CM Brad-Lander.jpg

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    11 years ago

    beutifull fantastic story

    11 years ago

    Who is the Rebbetzin with the red Sheitl??

    11 years ago

    Having 7 politicians in fancy suits sit down for a photo-op is going to defuse the stigma of hungry people stopping in for a meal?


    11 years ago

    if they wanted to avoid stigma .they shoul have a restaurant open to the public with a pay what you can approach.some will give more than their meal value others less. panera bread is using that model as its charity arm, and it is working quite it.

    11 years ago

    Wow! This is fantastic!

    Just when I think everyone is MAJORLY suffering from a bad case of “It’s MY MONEY! ALL MINE!!!”

    I see a story like this, and I still have hope for humanity! (lol)

    This was a fantastic article! Beautiful story!


    11 years ago

    As long as it is known as a “soup kitchen” it WILL have a stigma attached. It should be known as a regular restaurant, with a regular price chart, BUT with it known that one can pay what one can afford.
    The food should be a good quality that will attract regular customers. Then the ‘stigma’, if there is one, will be on those who can clearly afford to pay the regular price IF they don’t, when they come to the cashier.

    11 years ago

    Very nice, now let all of these politicians work hard to reinstate the X-29 Express Bus that used to pass right in front of Masbia on Coney Island Avenue.

    11 years ago

    Ironically, old Mrs. Rubashkin’s Crown Restaurant, which served delicious warm meals for the poor and needy, alongside paying customers, was shut down by the ever well meaning City. She had it going the right way.

    Of course it’s a Rubashkin I’m talking about–specifically Sholom Mordechai’s mother. So why not give her a swift kick as well, where it hurts: in her charitable business?