How Food Pantries Are Helping The Hunger Problem In NYC

How Food Pantries Are Helping The Hunger Problem In NYC

Did you know that 1 in 5 New Yorkers suffer from hunger?

As a volunteer at Our Lady of Good Counsel’s Food Pantry on Staten Island, I have been blessed to collaborate with some truly incredible individuals, and these relationships have molded me into the empowered woman I am today.

Every moment at the food pantry has been an eye-opening experience, and I am grateful to be a part of such a compassionate community of volunteers. I have been a volunteer since the age of eleven, and it is heartwarming to recognize how my weekly service hours have contributed to the health and happiness of countless individuals on Staten Island.

Since 1993, the mission of our food pantry has been simple: love our neighbors. Under the leadership of Maryann Bollinger and Dolores Connelly, our mission comes to fruition every single week. These women are passionate. Their concern for others is genuine, and they pour their hearts into every single task that comes their way.

In addition to managing our weekly operations, they apply for food grants, coordinate countless donations, organize holiday food drives, pick up food from various locations around the island, accept deliveries during the week, and supervise volunteers like me.

They handle such demanding positions with poise, and I will eternally admire their commitment to such an amazing organization.

With their guidance, our pantry furnishes food to approximately 240 families per month, providing bags of groceries to nearly 80 families each week. Each customer receives a bag with staple food items, such as canned soups, pasta, peanut butter, vegetables, and cereal. In an additional bag, our customers are provided with fresh produce, meat, beans, bread, cake, juice, and other nonperishable items. If there is money to spare, our pantry is also able to provide eggs, milk, and butter for the long line of people outside.

Volunteering for Our Lady of Good Counsel Food Pantry has not only been an incredible opportunity for me to discover the importance of community service, but it has enabled me to develop a deeper layer of gratitude for things I had previously taken for granted.

By helping people who live in a state of such desperation, I have come to learn that happiness cannot be derived from material items. Rather, my greatest joys have been attained through a sincere willingness to help others.

By volunteering at this food pantry, I have learned that there is a larger hunger problem in Staten Island than I could have ever imagined. Hunger exists in front of our eyes, and it affects every single neighborhood in our region. It impacts people of every age, race, gender, religion, and ethnicity. Over 1.4 million people in New York City depend on food pantries for survival. In other terms, one out of every five New Yorkers suffers from the pangs of hunger each day.

The most difficult aspect of volunteering is seeing young children step through the door; it is evident that they are hurting, and I can see desperation in the eyes of some parents. Hunger is a pressing issue here on Staten Island, and I am committed to ending such a horrific problem.

In the future, I hope to advocate the life-giving power of proper nutrition. I plan on promoting the blatant atrocities of hunger, and I seek to expose others to the critical significance of food. Essentially, I desire to pursue my passion for nutrition and combine it with purpose. Malnutrition affects every stage of life and has severe consequences that can impact countless generations. I hope to have a voice in this fight against global hunger.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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15 Things You've Heard As An Ice Cream Scooper

And the responses you wish you could have said...

As many of you know, being a customer service employee can be exhausting. Sure, you may like working with people, but there's no doubt that you reach your limit here and there. Ice cream scoopers are a very specialized group of customer service employees who deal with people in their most vulnerable state: when they are craving sweets. If you've ever worked in an ice cream shop, here is a list of things you've definitely heard from customers, with responses of what you probably wish you could have said.

1. "I want cookie dough."

OK, seriously? "Cookie dough" is all you're giving me? Now I have to ask you a million questions about what size, what kind of cone, what type of toppings, etc. I know you may think I read minds, but I swear I don't.

2. "Just give me the regular cone. You know, the normal one."

Well, we offer three different kinds of cones. What's normal to me may not be normal to you. Chances are I'll scoop your ice cream into a sugar cone and then you'll look at me like I have ten heads because you expected a wafer cone *sigh*

3. "Can I try the vanilla?"

Are you kidding me?! I'm not sure if this is because you've never had vanilla before or if it's because you have a very critical opinion of vanilla ice cream, but either way... I suggest you take it down a notch. Your only excuse is if you're four years old.

4. "I promise, this is my last taste."

Is it, though?

5. "Oh wait, actually, THIS is my last one."

Yeah, that's what I thought.

6. "After all of these tastes, I won't have enough room to actually order a cone of ice cream!!!"

Extra points if you and your friends all laugh at the joke you just made.

7. "Is that one good?"

Honestly, does my opinion of ice cream really matter to you? Obviously, I'm going to say I like it, because I work here and it's ice cream, so yeah, it's good. What am I supposed to say? Should I tell you that I actually find that flavor repulsive and that it sort of tastes like soap? Probably not.

8. "Which flavor's your favorite?"

Let's be honest, there's a very high chance that our taste in ice cream is completely opposite altogether. So, when I say that the peanut butter chocolate is my favorite flavor, you'll probably smile and nod politely, and then order mint chocolate chip. Awkward.

9. "Just surprise me!"

No, no, no. Please do not put your ice cream order in my hands, that's way too much pressure. Also, I'm a terrible decision maker.

10. "Do you have chocolate ice cream?"

Nope! *Sarcasm*

11. "Which flavors are gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, and dairy-free???"

Why did you even enter this ice cream shop? Don't get me wrong, I'm sympathetic to allergies and sensitivities, but I have a feeling you're just being obnoxious.

12. "I bet your right arm gets pretty muscular, huh?"

Ha. Ha. Haven't heard that one before! Are you going to make the Popeye joke next?

13. "Could you just add some hot fudge on top of that for me?"

Listen carefully. If you ordered a kiddie size ice cream in a cup, and the ice cream fills the cup completely, where would there be room for the hot fudge? The answer is nowhere. I then have to transfer your ice cream into a larger cup that leaves room for the fudge, which easily could have been avoided if you had simply warned me of your fudge desires beforehand.

14. "It costs HOW MUCH?! I remember when a cone of ice cream was 50 cents!"

I don't make the prices. I, too, would love if an ice cream cone still cost 50 cents, but the unfortunate truth is that it does not, nor will it ever again.

15. "Oh, my gosh! I don't know how you work here and stay so thin! I would eat everything in the store!"

Oh don't worry, I DO eat everything in the store.

If you've ever said any of these things to an ice cream scooper, they probably made a joke about you to their coworker when you weren't looking. But it's okay, they immediately praised afterward as long as you tipped well. Ice cream scoopers are nice in nature, I swear. And they don't hold grudges!

Happy scooping!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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14 Words That would Better serve the "b" in iHOB over "Burgers"

Butter. Butter is literally better than burgers.


IHOP announced earlier this month that it would be changing its name to IHOB. After letting customers ponder on what the "b" would stand for, most assuming breakfast, it announced their new name would be the International House of Burgers. Yep, you heard me. Burgers. As you could expect, Twitter users had a field day making jabs at the companies new name. Burger King changed its name to Pancake King, Netflix stating it's changing its name to Netflib and Qdoba told IHOB it would trade its letters so their new name will be Qdopa. So in honor of this ridiculous name change, here's 14 names that would have been better than burgers.

I still cannot believe out of all the options it had, IHOP chose to change its name to International House of Burgers. International House of Butter would have been better. Butter.

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