The phrase "soup kitchen" might not bring gourmet food to mind, but Michael Ennes, the chef at the Broadway Community soup kitchen, is looking to change that. Mr. Ennes cooks approximately 500 meals a week using "homemade stocks, oils without trans fats, organic peanut butter and local produce when he can get it," food from the Food Bank of New York City, and donations from City Harvest, some of which is collected from some of the city's finest restaurants. The Times profiles Mr. Ennes' work at the Broadway Community soup kitchen, where a sign reading "Four Star Soup Kitchen" is proudly displayed.
In addition to serving high quality food, Mr. Ennes also serves up a healthy serving of dignity. In lieu of the traditional soup kitchen line, volunteers serve diners at tables, and he listens when his customers give him feedback. “'They’re still customers, whether they’re paying $100 a plate or nothing,' Mr. Ennes said. 'One thing we do here is listen to people and let them complain. Where else can a homeless person get someone to listen to them?'” He also teaches cooking, nutrition and food service skills to homeless clients, who then help with the meal preparation.
The Times lists a number of food-related charities for those inclined to make a donation to support soup kitchens like Broadway Community and others who might otherwise go hungry this holiday season.
Photo by Tony Cenicola for The New York Times.