Why They’re Food Heroes: Hungry Monk Rescue Truck, an outreach branch of Monkworx Social Services and All Saints American Old Catholic Community Church in Ridgewood, Queens, expanded their services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including offering grocery delivery to people who contract the virus living in the area. The truck has been able to continue handing out food every Saturday in Ridgewood, while expanding their hot food service times at the church to three days per week. Prior to the pandemic, they were providing two hundred meals per week, but have since increased to sixteen hundred per week. For Thanksgiving, the truck distributed one hundred meals in Bushwick, Sunnyside, and Woodside, along with sixty turkeys donated by Trader Joe’s.
Background: All Saints American Old Catholic Community Church in Ridgewood, Queens has had a soup kitchen for many years. However, many people are unable to go to the church for food relief, or they are hesitant. Father Mike Lopez, pastor at the church, began Hungry Monk Rescue Truck in 2017 in order to make the church’s food relief services more accessible to the people of New York City. The truck is an old ambulance, repurposed into a Homeless Outreach and Community Response Vehicle.
Work: The truck has been offering food and support in a dignified way to homeless people in Ridgewood, Bushwick, and beyond for four years. Work is entirely done by volunteers, and the truck is always seeking more people to help out.
Location: Ridgewood, Queens
Awards, Praise and Honors: Two volunteers with the Hungry Monk Rescue Truck, siblings Jamie Longo and Jacob Altamirano, received citations of honor from then-acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee.
Resources and References:
- Ridgewood Church Hands Out 200 Thanksgiving Meals with Help from the Community (QNS)
- Ridgewood Church Calls on Community to Help Upgrade Their Food Delivery Truck (QNS)
- Why This Priest Started a Food Truck to Feed the Hungry (Inside Edition)
- Hungry Monk Rescue Truck Helps Those in Need Around New York City (Inside Edition)
- Local Volunteers Pull Together to Serve the Homeless of Bushwick During Temperature Drops (Bushwick Daily)
- Food Distribution Program Pitches In During Pandemic (Spectrum News NY1)