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St Francis Food Pantries and Shelters continues their long relationship with the Welcome Table Soup Kitchen at The Church of St Francis Xavier Church on 15th Street in Manhattan.

The 2013 "Spring Luncheon" served over 1000 homeless clients a hot and healthy meal. Presenter, John Catsimatidis, President and CEO of the Red Apple Group and his wife Margo sponsored the luncheon and visited with the guests. Long time supporter, Dana Trulis of Avison Young, was our food sponsor. Dana also gathered a team of volunteers to help serve the meal.

With the support of the St Francis Food Pantries and Shelters, on any given Sunday throughout the year, rain or shine, between 1000-1200 meals are served here. The Welcome Table has become just that to some of New York's poorest; the homeless. On site is a chiropractor to work out some of the kinks as well as social workers to direct the clientele to services they can benefit from.

Over the past few years, the population trend of their clientele is now shifting to include working families and children. Director Cassandra Agredo says that even though they are busting at the seams every Sunday, no one is ever turned away. St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters supports the Welcome Table throughout the year with food, clothing, cash grants as well as and themed feeding events like our "Spring Luncheon".

The Spring Luncheon sponsor, John Catsimatidis President and CEO of Red Apple Group, visiting with the Spring Luncheon guests. The volunteers getting last minute instructions from Director Michael Costello on how to work with a crowd of over 1000 people.

The cooking staff has to arrive up to 4 hours early to begin food preparation and cook for the Spring Luncheon. In an assembly line style, different volunteers are in charge of serving a well balanced hot lunch to some of New York's neediest.

Over a course of 5 hours, guests were invited in for a meal and invited to stay as long as they want. Fr Francis Gasparik with 3rd Sunday Coordinator Cindy Lacqua and Director Michael Costello.

The Welcome Table is just that, as people from all walks of life enjoy a meal and each others company. When you are cooking for over 1000 people, the cooking pots better be the right size.

Members of Avison Young, our Spring Luncheon Food Sponsor, gather for a photo.
The weather for the day was cold and brisk so the hot meal and warm setting made for a nice experience for the guests.
Under the sign is the "Chiropractic for Humanity" station where the guests can get "adjusted" after their meal.
This guest takes the opportunity to read the paper and relax after his meal.
Extra bagels are bagged and given to guests that request added food.