Every Tuesday and Thursday, more than one hundred people from Lower Manhattan come to the Trinity churchyard for a Brown Bag Lunch. Starting on Sunday, February 1, Trinity will expand this six-year-old ministry by offering lunches on Sunday and Monday for a total of four days a week.
While the number of people who are homeless in Lower Manhattan is not as high as some other areas of the city, there are still many in need of a meal.
“The biggest growth is people who experience food insecurity,” said Mandy Culbreath, who directs the Brown Bag program.
Twelve percent of people in Battery Park City, Greenwich Village, and SoHo are food insecure, meaning they do not have access to sufficient affordable food. Many people come to Trinity’s Brown Bag Lunches from Chinatown and the Lower East Side, where the rate of food insecurity is 20%. Having two more meals provided each week will help those who are suffering from lack of nutritious, affordable food in the area.
Culbreath is also developing partnerships to help better serve those in need. Most recently, Food Bank NYC has given Trinity access to their Tiered Engagement Network (TEN), which connects organizations serving New York City. Culbreath can now refer clients to the TEN Tracker, a database that connects them to other benefits and social services and keeps track of their progress and needs.
Volunteers are an essential part of the Brown Bag Lunch ministry. They include Trinity parishioners as well as people who live and work in Lower Manhattan who pack and serve the lunches. If you would like more information about Brown Bag Lunch or if you can volunteer to help, contact Mandy Culbreath at firstname.lastname@example.org.