As you guys know, I volunteer at the Grand Central Neighborhood soup kitchen on E. 32nd. Friday was no different. That it happened to be Sept. 11th and that it happened to be the National Day of Service was purely coincidental, although I thought it was fitting. It was a nasty, cold, rainy day and I expected the kitchen to be full of people in need of a dry place and a hot meal. I wasn't wrong. And for the first time, I encountered a reality that soup kitchens everywhere are faced with. Supplies were woefully low. So low, in fact, that we'd run out of juice to serve with dinner. One of the guys running security ran out and picked up a few packets of Kool-Aid to get us through the shift, but that wasn't going to cover the weekend.
Now, running out of juice isn't as bad as, say, running out of food. But it's bad enough. Not having enough supplies for everything is a reality for charitable programs. GCN gets supplies from City Harvest and private donors, but they always need more. It was the first time, since I've been helping out that we didn't have enough of something, but I'm sure it won't be the last. And if I can help it, it will happen much less often. A healthy meal shouldn't be a privilege.
With that being said, check back at the end of the week for my orange recipe of the week to support NYC Goes Orange and Hunger Action Month.