The Monday lunch program held at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church has hosted guests ranging from 33 people in November to 71 in early January. During the cold weather numbers have averaged about 50 people per week.
A dedicated group of between 12 to 15 volunteers turn out every week–rain, snow or sunny weather!–to put together a hot meal that is served between 12 and 1. La Esperanza bakery donates rolls every week, and the Palisades Park bakery contributes other baked goods.
Pete Shanno makes lots and lots of coffee (100 cups on January 6–and that was not quite enough!)
The volunteers operate as a well-oiled machine, with the work getting done efficiently and calmly, no matter how many hungry people turn up on a given week. And they have fun as well. One week a volunteer who was vacationing in Florida called just to say hello! Former volunteers, young people who have worked with us in the past, CoFiA members who are not working on a particular day–often drop by to lend a hand and catch up with each other and the workers.
Our faithful staff people Elias Garcia and Angelica Martinez provide interesting programs, important information, and individual assistance for workers who have problems. The lunch program is a major venue where wage theft issues are brought, and turned over to the wage theft committee for possible resolution.
Our ongoing thanks to Tina Lindquist and Pastor Peter Bauernfeind of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, and to the pastors of the Korean Lutheran Church with whom we share the space, for the warm welcome they give to the workers and the program.