Our Heart's Work
1.5 million New Yorkers are struggling to feed themselves and their families right now. A 36% increase over pre-pandemic figures. 1 in 4 or more than 462,000 children in New York City are experiencing food insecurity, a 46% increase over pre-pandemic figures according to City Harvest.
Soul Food to the People (SFTTP) serves traditional, foot tapping, knee slapping, hand clapping, tongue talking, plate licking, soul shouting, down home SOUL FOOD to food insecure New Yorkers. Food insecurity is an ongoing crisis that plagues 1.5 million forgotten New Yorkers. SFTTP’s mission is to fight food insecurity nationwide by providing nutritious comfort meals on a weekly basis.
During the New York government lockdown starting in March 2020, grocery store shelves sat empty, restaurants closed indefinitely, and thousands of New Yorkers suddenly found themselves without financial means. Katie, the owner of Katie O Soul Food restaurant saw an urgent need rising across Brooklyn communities where hungry, confused Brooklynites, suffering from the effects of the pandemic, had no resources to find food. Katie sprang into action and turned Katie O Soul Food into a food bank, food pantry, soup kitchen and meals on wheels, that she delivered by any means necessary. As Katie says, “Fighting food insecurity isn't hard work, it is HEART WORK.”
Even now, two years later in 2022, this daily reality of food scarcity drives Katie everyday to continuously FEED THE PEOPLE. Food insecurity is an ongoing crisis that plagues forgotten New Yorkers. Katie, since she was a young child, shadowed her late Grandma Peaches’ passion for feeding the people. Katie has made feeding the people her life’s work and she has no intention of stopping. She will forever FEED THE PEOPLE until we FEED THE PEOPLE!
Each SOUL FOOD TO THE PEOPLE plate licking meal is packaged with a note that either has an inspirational quote or these three words ‘made with love’. Katie says, “the food feeds the stomach, but the notes feed the soul”. Just like growing up at Grandma Peaches’ house where food was love, Katie continues in her Grandma Peaches’ footsteps to serve the community with dignity and respect.
One NYCHA resident once said, “this food is too good to be free!” Another resident said they look forward to Saturdays because that’s one day they won’t be hungry! SFTTP takes the time to get to know each and every person served. We talk to the people and ask them who they are and what's their story. We let them know we all have stories, whether it’s the best story or the not so best story.” What’s most important is that they know, WE’RE LISTENING!
Soul Food to the People brings the COME ON HOME experience that the Katie O Soul Food regularly provides just like Grandma Peaches and PaPa did every week. While Grandma Peaches and PaPa had old fashioned values that didn’t stop them from loving everyone. Their house was and still is a safe space where everyone can be their authentic selves. It’s in this spirit that Katie continues her family's tradition of serving Soul Food to the People.
Many thanks to our team of volunteers and to the team at Katie O Soul Food and Chef Curtis. A very special shout out to ReThink Food for their ongoing support of Katie O’s and Soul Food to the People from the start of the pandemic. While many other nonprofits have moved on, ReThink is a committed partner and is standing in the trenches together with SFTTP as we continue to FEED THE PEOPLE until we FEED THE PEOPLE! ReThink, we salute you!
Will YOU stand with us? DONATE here.