New centers to open in Brooklyn, Queens as need soars for struggling families.
Stewart Ain and Adam Dickter
The storefront on Lee Avenue had yet to open for “business” last Wednesday evening when a large, hungry crowd filed in and found places at its brand-new tables.
Some 30 families — some of whose breadwinners have lost jobs in the recession and are struggling to make ends meet — had been invited to inaugurate the Masbia kosher soup kitchen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the first operatedby the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. They consumed 120 meals of breaded chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables.
When people enter the Masbia soup kitchen in Borough Park, they approach a wooden podium of the sort used by a maitre d’.
But no reservations are required at Masbia, currently the city’s only kosher soup kitchen, and clients are simply asked to sign their name before filling their dinner plates.
While in the past they may have been asked to present a letter of reference from a rabbi or community leader to show that they are in need, these days that restriction has all but fallen by the wayside.