The FPCY Confirmation Class held our Breakfast Run on Saturday morning, April 2, 2022. The Run was organized by Pam Darreff and Stephanie Hare, with big thanks to Heidi Haring for her work in inventorying the supplies we had on hand.
We had expected to serve approximately 50 – 60 people, but we actually met upwards of 75 people that morning. Our location was on the sidewalk along Chelsea Park on 28th Street at 9th Avenue on the west side of Manhattan. At least 50 people were already waiting in line when we arrived.
We had a team of 17 people from FPCY (including the students, teachers, and adult volunteers) travel down in five vehicles to haul the food, supplies, and folding tables that we brought with us. With the volume of people we served that morning, everyone had a job to do.
We served 70 slices of quiche (purchased from Stop and Shop) that we had warmed up in the kitchen at FPCY and individually wrapped on small plates with foil. Clients had a choice of spinach or bacon quiche. We also had a selection of pastries and donuts, fruit cups, bananas, juice, water, and coffee. All the food was given away with exception of a few fruit cups.
We brought sweatshirts, men’s underwear and socks, blankets, toiletry kits, and period products. Big, huge thanks to Marisa and Natalie Swift for the donation and organization of the packets of period products that were received with extreme gratitude by the women we met that morning.
Some of our takeaways from the Breakfast Run are:
- The needs are great. The Coalition for the Homeless reports that the number of homeless folks in New York City is 15% higher than it was 10 years ago. The number of folks living outside – that is, not in a homeless shelter – is probably much higher than what the NYC government estimates.
- We were surprised by the number of women that we met on our Breakfast Run. On traditional Midnight Runs in the past, we would only encounter a few women and most of our clients were men. On the Breakfast Run, our clientele was nearly 50/50. We recommend bringing more clothing and supplies for women (eg, underwear, smaller sized jackets, and sweatshirts) for Breakfast Runs in the future.
- In terms of food, we should definitely round up a bit more in the future than we already did when planning for this Run, and consider bringing additional items such as bagels with cream cheese or sandwiches that the clients can either eat right away or take with them to eat later in the day.
We are extremely grateful to the Congregation for their generosity in donations of money and supplies for the Run.