There’s an old saying that a way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. While it is often said in a romantic context, I think it applies to all types of relationships. I have such fond memories from when my entire family used to gather at my grandparents dining room table to share Sunday dinners together. Or even now, coming home from weeks of travel to a home-cooked meal, courtesy of Yon. There’s something so thoughtful and generous about cooking for others – people taking time out of their day to prepare a meal, mixing and matching ingredients, to create a delicious sign of affection. To me, food is love.
When I moved to NYC earlier this year, I was so excited to finally have my own kitchen and be able to cook and bake for others as my own way of showing how much I care for them. Anyone who came to our housewarming party understands how much I love to feed people. The fact is love, just like food, is a necessity. They give us identity, purpose, and perspective. And when I left my quiet, comfortable suburb and came to New York, I realized how many people are without both; how many people are ignored, hungry, and hoping that someone provides help. Having been on the receiving end of food donations at one point in time, I understand just how impactful and uplifting it is when others provide that kind of support. So I made a quiet promise to myself a few months back, that I would try and help my community in any small way I could.
And last week something incredible happened. I was volunteering downtown at a food kitchen, serving breakfast to anyone who needed a hot meal and maybe couldn’t afford one. I was plating some eggs, when I heard a man say, “Ah, there aren’t anymore bagels?” And without hesitation, a man nearby, who had come in to get breakfast, lifted his bagel towards the other man and said, “You can have mine.” Every single one of us who were working the food line just stood, staring in a cloud of absolute astonishment that this man, who was in need of a meal himself, offered to share what was already on his plate. Kindness is a beautiful thing.
If you’re looking to extend your own kindness this holiday season, Yon & I will be volunteering again with FeedingNYC to pack thousands of Thanksgiving dinners that will be distributed to various shelters and low-income families across New York and we would be so grateful for any support you can offer our team. No American should face this holiday feeling hungry, forgotten, or left out and so we ask that you help us deliver joy and comfort by donating to our FeedingNYC team.