A Schenectady Sunday – 5.16.2021

Last Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day and met many new friends. We had carnations to share and a gift bag for all of our moms and mother figures with some makeup samples, pair of new socks, candy, and special items like a full size lotion or shaving cream. We had a gift table with donated items like weekender bags, candles, body spray, jewelry, and new zippy hoodies and sweat pants. Everyone in line was able to pick a gift for themselves or to give the mom in their life.

With the warmer weather we are able to introduce back gently used housewares and some clothing. Our community table had anything from silverware to paintings and some great ride on toys for our kids. These gently used items help our friends with needed and special items for their homes and apartments.

Our pantry offers a variety of foods in varying quantities weekly. Providing a pantry comes with some limiting factors like what is easy to carry as 90% of our friends walk home, what is shelf stable, how can we incorporate proteins, and cost.

We have a wonderfully diverse community of all backgrounds and various dietary needs. Not all “traditional” staples like pasta and rice are helpful to all. Not everyone enjoys or eats the same breakfast foods. Many of the shelf stable options like Hormel ready heat meals, Chef Boyardee, and precooked meats like hot dogs and sausages often include a mix of meats to make the final product. A mix of meats or a certain meat make this a non-option for some people. We make sure we have a variety of options weekly and allow friends to pick what they need and would like. We are working on branching out our offerings to provide items our diverse community needs. We want our pantry to always include items that are helpful to all and offer a variety of choices.

We would like to thank Projectella for a donation of 30 dozen eggs, and The Schenectady Trading Company for donating half gallons of milk. These items are really helpful.

Our hygiene table had our normal rotating offerings, but also some full size products, makeup and makeup bags to share left over from the Mother’s Day makeup gift bags. These items are big pick me ups and we are really grateful for the donations.

Our hot food menu Sundays resembles a restaurant and the hot food looks and smells incredible. Our volunteers and cooks create amazing meals and something for everyone. In our diverse community we have friends that select to, or cannot eat certain meats for personal or religious reasons. We have vegetarians and vegans. We have friends with gluten intolerance. We have friends looking for ways to integrate more vegetables and greens. Our amazing cooks provide a hot meal with all of our dietary needs covered. That kindness to include everyone is greatly appreciated and wonderful.

Our bread table had English muffins, cookies, cakes and treats. It was wonderful to see friends pick items to share for Mother’s Day.

StreetSoldiers is all about connections. Beyond connecting as friends we gain feedback. We enjoy hearing the next week about what meal they liked, what staples helped, and how that new-to-them pair of shoes is feeling. We greatly enjoy being the stewards of the things- collecting gently used items and connecting them with people that need them.

Thank you all for your support. We are looking forward to another great Sunday today 💙🐼💙