Every Wednesday, people in need in the city of Newburgh are given a hot meal.

What You Need To Know

  • Church at the Bridge put together "giving Wednesdays" where they buy food from local restaurants and give out meals to the hungry

  • They've been doing this since April, right after the pandemic started

  • They received a grant from the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan to help with this initiative

Church at the Bridge buys food from local restaurants and partners with non-profits to give out the meals every week, keeping businesses in business and at the same time making sure people are fed.

“We realized that while there are a lot of people in need with food and other resources, businesses are struggling so we said let’s try to help business and people at the same time. It takes a community to help a community," says Jose Vasquez, lead pastor at Church At The Bridge.

Sazon Boricua Restaurant owner Justin Acosta knows what it’s like to struggle to find a meal, which makes giving back all the more special.

“Having been on both sides of the spectrum myself, being in a situation where I’ve been in need and to be in a situation to be blessed and to give back, it’s been a blessing to be part of the program," Acosta said.

Jose explains that even though the pandemic has brought hardships into people’s lives, it’s now when the community needs to step up.

“I really feel that COVID has created an opportunity in light of the challenges that we’re facing ... has created an opportunity for us to get back to the basics of working together to build our communities," Vasquez said.

Jose, along with volunteers from the church, distribute the food.

“I work part time and so it really helps. I don’t have a lot of finance, so it’s really good. You can get a nice hot meal, so I am appreciative," says Fayola Imani, a Safe Harbors on the Hudson Resident.

This initiative is made possible by the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan. Visit www.cfosny.org if you'd like to help, or learn more.