“Lunch Break” Gets A Whole New Meaning

Jordan Fiedel and Friend volunteer at soup kitchen

Jordan Fiedel of Weston first noticed the homeless on the New York City streets when he was young and has since been sensitive to the plight of the homeless and the hungry. He watched his mother volunteer for this shelter and wanted to help. Oftentimes, he would accompany her on his days off from school to obtain service hours while doing a good deed. The Pine Crest student saw firsthand the true need for what many of us take for granted.

“I always knew I was fortunate. But when I volunteered at the kitchen, I understood how truly lucky I am. I have a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in every night, and clean clothes to wear. I eat when I want to, but there are so many who cannot,” said Fiedel.

One of the most basic human needs is food. Yet not everyone is fortunate to be able to eat when they are hungry. Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen acknowledges this serious issue. Founded in 1989 by Jimmy and Phyllis Rotonno, the not-for-profit organization worked tirelessly to collect donations and feed the hungry and the homeless.

Teen handing out food

Since its opening, the kitchen has grown into a full-service ministry under the care of Katie Crissy. The ambitious CEO and Program Director ensures that the homeless and working poor of the neighboring community receive a hot four-course meal, plus a to-go meal five days a week. 

“Our overall goal is to provide nutrition and give our guests a hand up instead of a handout,” explained Crissy.

Additionally, Our Father’s House provides food pantry items, clothing, shoes, blankets, and other necessities such as hygiene products and recycled bicycle transportation. But the resources are always limited, and assistance is always needed and appreciated.

Not being able to volunteer amid the pandemic had the astute eleventh-grader wondering how to still help the shelter and the people who rely upon it. He decided that making sandwiches and delivering them would be the next best thing to being there. Initially, he made and delivered 150 himself twice a month, but since he has recruited his friends and other moms in the neighborhood to also participate.

“I love that a simple PB&J can make someone’s day better. I have a newfound appreciation for the simpler things in life after seeing all the smiles I receive from my lunch deliveries,” added Fiedel.