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St.John's Helps Feed the Needy

By Angel Colon

Every Sunday, St. John's Church hosts its own Soup Kitchen that feeds almost one hundred needy people. Homeless are not the only people who come to dine. There are many kinds of people: sick, poor, even people who have homes but are just hungry.

debbie howardI interviewed "debbie howard" (she asked that her name be put in lower case letters) who has been helping out at the Soup Kitchen for six to eight years. She has seen a lot of changes throughout the years. One change has been the different people who run the program. She says all the different leaders deal with this process by giving different jobs to different kitchenpeople and some leaders may just let the people pick out what jobs they want to do. Some jobs "debbie" does are seating the homeless and serving the needy, too.

While I was at the Soup Kitchen, I had a chance to go around and listen to some of the conversations that some of the people were talking about, since I could not take any pictures of the homeless. One man told a helper "Hey! I have no cornbread." The man sitting next to him also asked a helper for some coffee. At another table one lady tried to save her friend a seat but failed. Two men at the back table meetingwere fighting over who would win the N.F.C Conference Championship between the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers (Green Bay won over Carolina). Besides all that, there were mostly only food questions such as: "Please pass the sugar".

When I was "eaves dropping" something caught my attention. It was a man with four little children who came, ate and then, with wonderful manners, they helped clean not only their own mess but the other people's mess too.

servingHarlemLive staffer Michael Puchades said the "Soup Kitchen made him feel good to contribute some time to society". He also felt "This to be an experience in case he decides to work part time in a restaurant". HarlemLive reporter Samantha Gonzalez said "It was a nice experience table being setand it makes you think about how lucky some people are".


If you would like to volunteer at St. John's Church, it is located at 111th Street and Amsterdamn. Enter the grounds to the right of the church and past the stone carvings. Enter the basement door and proceed straight to the gym. Arrive between 12:30 and 1 AM. Ask for Charmaine or one of the captains. There are four teams that rotate each week so that each month, each team has provided meal service.