Momentum Brings Hot Lunch and Food Pantry Back to St. John’s Church

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Robert Quinones serves one of the guests

For the past 2 months St. John’s Lutheran Church, 195 Maujer Street, has been hosting BOOM!Health’s Momentum Project, which serves up a free hot meal and food pantry every Friday from 1pm–3pm. The program will be ongoing for the time being.

Near the entrance is a table where the day’s menu and Guest/Client Bill of Rights are posted some of the rights are:

  • Entitled to food free of charge
  • Are not required to leave a donation, pay, work, or go to religious service in order to receive food
  • Are treated with dignity and respect at all times
  • Art provided with clear policies for receiving food
  • Are to receive food that meets local, state, and federal standards for food safety
  • Are not to be turned away on your first visit for lack of identification, documentation of need
  • Not required to provide SSN
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Food pantry volunteers give out healthy food

On the Menu on the Friday I was present was: lentil soup, mesclun salad with cucumbers and tomatoes, the entrée was baked whiting with brown rice and Brussels sprouts, and vanilla pudding was for dessert.

Timothy Fields, the head chef, works on the menus thoughtful of dietary restrictions and client feedback.  He incorporates foods that are in season and considers the season for his menus – making heartier dishes in the winter.

The staff and volunteers are considerate and welcoming of the guests. Robert Quinones who cooks and serves the food says working there is a family tradition. He’s been at it for over 20 years, following his father and uncle who worked 14 years and 18 years respectively.

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The Momentum crew: Theresa Middleton (front), (back from left to right) Claudette Wright, Timothy Filed, Robert Quinones, Jazmin Ortiz, Teresa Ortiz, Melinda Ortiz, Miguel Angel Rosado, and Albert De Arce

The volunteers who manned the food pantry were pretty much family. I mean that literally, most of them were related to each other. St. John’s pastor, Jason Taber, was given credit as suggesting they volunteer. “We are first and second generation Williamsburg [residents] giving back to the community and church makes it feel like it was years ago,” said Teresa Ortiz.

Pastor Jason was also credited by several guests with bringing the BOOM!Health’s Momentum Project to his church. He didn’t accept the credit.

“BOOM!Health’s Momentum Project is thrilled to bring congregate meals and nutritional services back to Brooklyn.  We’ve found a tremendous partner in St. John’s Lutheran Church and look forward to serving the community for many years to come,” said Jose M. Davila, President & CEO of BOOM!Health.

 

St. John’s Lutheran Church is located at 195 Maujer Street. The Hot Meal and Food Pantry will continue every Friday from 1pm–3pm. Bring I.D.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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