HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) – The long line outside the Salvation Army’s soup kitchen on Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem has become the norm.
“This Christmas season we have experienced high demand more than ever before,” said Major Antonio Rosamilia of the Salvation Army.
Hundreds of visitors go there for a warm meal, but Tuesday was a little different because Goya Foods was in the kitchen. The company also donated 10,000 pounds of pantry items.
“People are feeling the weight of inflation and the high cost of food prices, so this donation is going to help so many families,” said Maricela Baez, public relations specialist for Goya Foods.
They’ll be able to put a meal on the table for the holidays, and visitors like Maurice Dimbo are thankful.
“It’s a blessing to even come out here to eat, so I’m just grateful,” Dimbo said.
It doesn’t hurt that the food being served tastes great too. Fernando Desa is the executive chef for Goya Foods.
“We have roasted pork or pernil,” Desa said. “We season it with Goya adobo, sazon, a little bit of olive oil. We also have some chicken fricassee – chicken and sauce and herbs and olives.”
Seeing the outcome puts volunteers like Merisia McKay in the holiday spirit.
“Just the look on their [faces] knowing that they’re so happy that they’re getting a hot, warm meal to eat today, it just puts joy in my heart,” McKay said.
The Salvation Army served about 300 people for lunch, but they say that’s what they typically do daily which shows the need in this community and their continued effort to help.