Ready-to-Barbeque Food for Fourth of July to be Distributed by Teens at Food Pantry

At Ascension Church, teens prepare ready-to-barbecue food packages.

By Lisa Kava

Teenagers from The Imagine Society, a not-for-profit organization that unites youth groups and community service projects, will distribute ready-to-barbeque food along with groceries to 275 families at the Ascension Food Pantry, at 220 West 108th Street, this Saturday, July 4th, from 9 am to 12 pm. To commemorate the holiday, the event will be complete with artwork and festive decorations.

The Ascension Food Pantry, part of the Ascension Church, is run by teenage volunteers from the church. Every Saturday morning the volunteers serve groceries to families experiencing food insecurity who line up in front of the church (and in recent months 6 feet apart.) The number of families registered with the pantry has increased significantly during the pandemic according to Robin Klueber, the Director of Religious Education at the Ascension Church and organizer of the pantry. “Our program has gone from providing 60-70 small packages of meals each month to providing over 1,200.”

This is not the first time The Imagine Society and The Ascension Church have teamed up in order to help those in need during the coronavirus crisis. In early March right before social distancing became a new reality, Jeannie Gaffigan, Founder and Executive Director of the Imagine Society worked closely with Klueber and youth groups from both organizations to host a special dinner and shelter night for men experiencing homelessness.

Artwork gift by Audrey Cho, age 11.

In honor of the July 4th  holiday, Klueber and Gaffigan wanted to do something especially meaningful for the growing number of food insecure families in the city. So they decided to join forces again. Their teenage volunteers assisted by adult mentors from the church will serve food that can be barbequed (hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob) as well as vegetables, fruit and apple pie. “We will decorate with flags and red, white and blue along the sidewalk as folks line up around the block,” said Klueber. The volunteers have been busy ordering and packaging the food in order to prepare for Saturday. The teens have also been creating artwork; each bag of groceries will come with a drawing “depicting a patriotic message of love,” said Gaffigan.

“Together with the Ascension Food Pantry, we are trying to make the traditional patriotic celebration of the Fourth of July a little more special for clients of the food pantry,” said Gaffigan. “We are adding some extra love and humanity (and apple pies) to the 4th of July grocery distribution.”

FOOD, NEWS | 5 comments | permalink
    1. JS says:

      So lovely.
      Thank you to the teen volunteers.

    2. Patrick Evanego says:

      what a great way to give back to the community I have known Robin For a short time. She is dedicated and committed to help the needy people in her area.
      god bless Robin and the imagine Society.
      Pat Evanego Driscoll Foods.

    3. Peter says:

      This makes me feel good. Thankyou

    4. Pat Gutierrez says:

      You are amazing. This is a wonderful gift from the young
      teenage volunteers to the community-in -need. God bless
      you and the children for this special July 4th.

    5. Angela Muto says:

      Jeannie Gaffigan is da bomb Diggity! <3