Theresa Monforte Caraballo is a 62-year-old mother of three and grandmother of five who loves her new role late in life.
“I love kids. Children need nutrition to be able grow and be able to learn,” Caraballo told PIX11 News. “That s why I started it, I wanted to fulfill that need,” she added.
So five years ago, the retired schoolteacher from Bay Ridge founded Grandma’s Love, a 501 c3 non-profit that helps ensure that no child in any of the schools she works with ever goes hungry.
“We speak with social workers and administrative staff in the schools and we get a list of children facing food insecurity,” Caraballo told PIX11 News. “Then every week we provide a backpack of non perishable food items including pasta, sauce, rice, beans, mac and cheese so they have enough food for weekends and some left over for the week,” she added.
PS 503 and 506 in Sunset Park are two of the schools that Grandma’s Love provides food stuffed backpacks for children with food insecurities and Grandma’s Love is very careful no child stigmatized because they get a backpack.
“No child’s name is on the backpack so they are completely anonymous,” Lisa Lynch, the program director of Grandma’s Love, told PIX11 News. “We fill it up wuth food. They return it and start all over again,” she added.
The nonprofit Grandma’s Love subsists on donations and grants from elected officials.
So far, the grant has not come through from Sunset Park New York City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca’s Office.
But Grandma’s Love is also expanding to Coney Island and Dyker Heights.
“Hunger is all over the city even in what is supposed to be the most affluent area,” Caraballo told PIX11 News. “You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. And we need funding. We need help,” she added.
Grandma’s Love is holding its first fundraiser September 27th. To find out how you can make a donation, go to Grandma’s Love Inc website.