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Pantry Spotlight: Crossroads Pantry

"It is our job to feed those that are in need."

The Crossroads Food Pantry has been open since the great Depression in the 1930s. Working out of the basement of Holy Cross Church on 42nd Street, just West of 8th Avenue, they have no paid staff – everyone is a volunteer. The director, Ed Reigadas, a retired business professional, has been a volunteer there for more than 20 years.

The Crossroads Pantry covers the area in NYC known as Hell's Kitchen. They serve seniors, the working poor and children. When speaking of the seniors in his area, Reigadas paints a bleak picture. “They are trapped in a fixed income purgatory where every cost around them is rising – food, house hold items, clothing, insurance, medical. When faced with the choices of paying rent, buying needed medicine or eating, the Crossroads Food Pantry is a life saver. All of these rising costs leave the elderly to make difficult decisions on where to spend what little reserves they have."

When it comes to food, St Francis Food Pantries provides a shopping list of food items for the Crossroads pantry to order from. This fills the gaps for them when other food sources are bogged down in paper work and cannot provide food. Reigadas says, "St Francis has always been a ‘gap filler,’ providing necessary food, turkeys, funds, clothing and household items when there is no place left for the Cross Roads to turn."

In addition, "St. Francis invites the clientele at the Crossroads Food Pantry to their holiday parties and other feeding events. It's unbelievable what they do for the seniors, the families and especially the children. We are blessed to have met them. Their support is a wonderful thing."

Volunteers prepare bags of food to be handed out. More volunteers pack specialty bags of food.

Volunteers take a break after preparing the days give-aways. Ed Reigadas hangs the Crossroads banner signifying the Pantry is open.

People line up to confirm they are registered. Crossroads Pantry services hundreds of families.

Each family is registered in their database and given an ID.
Always on-hand are hygiene items provided by St Francis.
During the holiday season crowds lined up down the block.
The volunteers know their clientele and cheerily greet them.
The pantry is a social gathering where many people take the time to hangout with friends.