Volunteering with the Broadway Community Food Pantry
by Layla Saliba
One out of every ten New York City households experience food insecurity (according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service) , meaning that they might not know where their next meal is coming from or have to choose between buying food and other essentials such as medicine. International House was founded upon a legacy of friendship and service, both to residents and our surrounding communities. I had the privilege of volunteering with Broadway Community with several fellow I-House residents. Broadway Community is a social service organization that works to help New Yorkers in need through a soup kitchen, food pantry, clean showers, and much more. Anyone is welcome to come for a meal, no application needed or questions asked.
For our volunteer shift, I worked in the soup kitchen to serve meals and prepare hot drinks. The food was prepared with love by Chef Michael Ennes and a team of volunteers who chopped vegetables, cleared plates, and prepared hot drinks. In addition to plated meals, we had prepared takeout bags for guests who needed to leave for work or school. We were busy due to an influx of guests but our work went by fast as we quickly made friends with the other volunteers.
As a social work student, I really liked the people first approach taken by Broadway Community when serving guests. Treating people with dignity and respect is a core value of the social work code of ethics and it was great to see a local organization put those values into practice. Overall, I had a great experience and I would absolutely volunteer with Broadway Community again.
Layla Saliba is an I-House resident and a current grad student at Columbia University School of Social Work.