Feed the Hungry
I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me. - Matthew 25:35
On Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings volunteers meet in the kitchen at St. James’ to prepare and serve a meal to more than 90 hungry and homeless guests. Our volunteer chefs design creative menus and prepare delicious and hearty meals – green salads, main dishes, and desserts all prepared from scratch. The food we serve is tangible evidence of our concern for our neighbors in need.
Yet the way we receive our guests is just as important. We lay the tables with cloth, dinnerware and flatware. We place a vase of beautiful flowers at the center, along with pitchers of hot coffee and ice water. Volunteers stand at the doorway and welcome each guest with a smile and greeting. We begin with grace and serve restaurant style, clearing the plates for the guests when the meal is through.
These practices are signs of the love and respect Jesus asks us to show one another and Himself, through each other. The hospitality is contagious – and reciprocal. Many guests return week after week, sitting at the same table, greeting our volunteers and one another by name. Together we create a respite from the worries and struggles of daily life, which though they may impact differently, are felt by us all.
Called to serve?
- Tuesday Lunch Program volunteers serve each week in two shifts: 9:00 - 11:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Volunteers are especially needed for the second shift, to greet and serve the guests, and wash dishes. Contact Associate for Mission Susana Ferrer.
- Friday Dinner Program volunteers serve 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. once a month on rotating teams. The meal is served on Friday evenings from September through June. Contact parishioner and Program Chair Faith Fraser.
Youth in grades 7 – 12 serve on the second Friday of the month, September through May; contact Chris Harding about volunteering with the youth team.
New York Common Pantry
St. James’ members participate in food drives for the New York Common Pantry (NYCP) in East Harlem in the months of February and July.
New York Common Pantry is our city's largest food pantry and St. James' has been involved from the very beginning. 1.4 million New Yorkers, including nearly 1 in 4 of our city's children, face food insecurity.
Please donate low-sodium canned soups and stews, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, canned beans, oatmeal, and peanut butter. Bring donations to the Reception Desk in the Parish House during the week, or to the Narthex on Sundays.