Volunteering

North Brooklyn Angels Take Flight Against Food Insecurity in Greenpoint

The Angelmobile!
The Angelmobile! Via the North Brooklyn Angels’ Facebook Page

North Brooklyn Angels, a hyper-local, volunteer-powered, non-profit, mobile hunger program has spread its wings in the neighborhood. Built on the direct action of neighbors helping neighbors, North Brooklyn Angels is working to fight hunger, food insecurity, and poverty in North Brooklyn, and help build an equitable, diverse neighborhood. They have served over 16,000 hot meals since they began operating last June. Since January 2nd, North Brooklyn Angels has been cooking all of its meals in the newly opened commercial kitchen in the basement of Mount Carmel Hall.

North Brooklyn Angels is a small organization with deep local roots hoping to make a big impact. Executive Director Ryan Kuonen explains “The program was a dream of a Greenpoint old timer, Neil Sheehan. Born and raised here in a large Irish Catholic family, he has spent his life feeding people. He teamed up with local Episcopalian Pastor, John Merz, who was running a soup kitchen that was going to be displaced from its physical location. He has been a big part of Occupy Wall St & Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and was really motivated to be part of a mobile soup kitchen project.” Kuonen joined the project in 2016, and is the only full-time employee. Claudell Lewis, Alan Minor and Felice Kirby work part-time, and volunteers provide the rest of the energy, serving, cooking, and even driving North Brooklyn Angels’ beautiful blue truck, known as the “Angelmobile.”

The Angelmobile is a 40-foot food service truck equipped with office space. With it, North Brooklyn Angels hopes to “create a busload of hope, love, & nutrition, serving people hot, healthy meals at strategic locations around the neighborhood and providing a mobile office space for the many wonderful charitable & human service programs already operating in the neighborhood.”  Continue reading

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Celebrating Christine Zounek and the Greenpoint Church Hunger Program

Christine Zounek Way

This Thanksgiving, I am deeply grateful to be part of the wonderful community here in Greenpoint. It is an honor to celebrate the work and legacy of Christine Zounek, a beloved Greenpoint resident who passed away in 2014. In September, Milton Street was co-named for Christine. Christine was head chef and guiding light at The Greenpoint Church Hunger Program, located at 136 Milton Street, now, appropriately, Christine Zounek Way.

The Hunger Program, a volunteer-based organization, serves dinner Wednesday evenings from 6 – 7pm, and runs a food pantry Thursday mornings from 8 – 11am. The Program serves over 800 people every month, and welcomes between 60 and 80 people every week for the community meal. The program and its volunteers “work really hard to provide the most delicious free meal you’ll ever eat. Our chefs are top-notch, and they take pride in serving gourmet food to everyone who comes through our doors.”

Christine Zounek was instrumental in making that meal delicious and special. According to Pastor Ann Kansfield of the Greenpoint Reform Church, Christine was involved with the program, “almost from the start,” when the church began running the soup kitchen in 2007. Each week “she made meals infused with love and care,” and “was an integral part of feeding our neighbors” for seven years.  Continue reading

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Cat-Calling All Feline Friends: The Greenpoint Cat Club Meets Tomorrow!

stray catDo you want to help every stray cat you see? Does the sight of whiskers make you go “awww?” Well, you’re not alone! The Greenpoint Cat Club meets once a month at Archestratus (160 Huron Street) to discuss issues and solve problems on behalf of the feral cats of our ‘hood. You already know that many local residents try to help the outdoor kitties. Bowls of cat food are tucked away in corners all around our neighborhood waiting to feed the hungry masses. We’re a sympathetic bunch!

There are over 50,000 stray cats in New York and hundreds in Greenpoint, presumably subsisting on kielbasa scraps and other fallen Polish delicacies. One of the major problems facing our community is that when people move, they sometimes sadly leave their house cats behind to fend for themselves. This is cruel behavior, as domesticated cats are not equipped to care for themselves in the wild. The streets are very dangerous for feral cats, and the best you can do if you find yourself in the sad situation of having to give up an animal is to find them a new home. Muddy Paws (447 Graham Ave) pet store has adoption events every Sunday from 2pm-5pm and you can find someone there who will help you find the resources you need. Continue reading

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Assembly Passes Spay and Neuter Bill

© Clayton Hauck photography / claytonhauck.com

Oh, the life of a bodega cat – no shortage of mice to chase around or cardboard boxes to lounge in, lots of friendly neighbors to stop by and scratch you on the head and, of course, freedom to do as you please in or outdoors – including having lots of cute, furry babies!

While of course everyone loves a sweet, fluffy pile of kittens, we probably can all agree that spaying and neutering efforts are necessary, for our furry friends’ own sake. Happily, the Assembly has just passed a bill this June that will help fund an effort to curb New York City’s homeless animal population. Continue reading

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Cragels & Chutzpa–The Hook Up (1/21)

Don't dress to impress on Lee Ave, © Stefano Giovannini/VINNews.com

In case you didn’t notice the SNOW out there or the fact that at least one person you know posted a screenshot of the weather forecast on Instagram this morning, we are in the midst of an official Winter Storm. Consider yourselves warned in advance?

Hey, remember when the owner of Gwynnett Street got busted for trafficking molly from China? That was weird. After the incident, the restaurant closed temporarily to re-group and the head chef and much of the kitchen staff quit.  The space recently re-opened with a new name, chef (from Allswell) and menu. Lachlan, according to the team, is the result of the decision to “take our restaurant in a different direction,” but we all know that the real reason: Google. No one wants to find out that their dinner spot was a stop on the  drug ring. The good news? The menu is way more affordable. (Eater)  Continue reading

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Ways Greenpointers Can Help: Sandy Disaster Relief in North Brooklyn

The devastating aftermath of Sandy is here, but our community has a chance to become stronger as a result. The cleanup has hardly even begun. Here is a list of ways you can lend a helping hand to your friends and neighbors:

Volunteer / Donation Opportunities For Sandy Relief

 

NORTH BROOKLYN

• New York City Public Advocate’s Office is organizing volunteers in areas across the five boroughs. You can register to participate for a four-hour shift in North Brooklyn.

• City sponsored cleanup of McCarren Park will take place on Saturday, Nov 3rd. – REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. Stay tuned for information about a McGolrick Park clean up.

• New York Blood Center was in need of blood even before the storm, but the storm has made the need greater. There will be a Blood Drive on Saturday (11/3) at Williamsburg Church (231 Ainslie Street) from 10-4pm.

FOOD/SUPPLIES DROP OFF LOCATIONS

• Brooklyn Kitchen (100 Frost St) is collecting donations of goods that people in the Rockaways need now and in the future.

  • Canned Goods
  • Nonperishable Food
  • Blankets
  • Jackets
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Plates
  • Cups
  • Bowls
  • Utensils
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Brooms
  • Mops
  • Sponges
  • Garbage Bags
  • Water
  • Tarps

• Greenpoint Reformed Church
136 Milton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Contact: Rev. Jennifer Aull (718) 383-5941

• St. Cecilia’s Church
23 Monitor Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Contact: Mary Jane Del Vicario (718) 389-0010

• St. Stanislaus American Legion Post 1771
519 Leonard Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

• House of Yes
342 Maujer st
Brooklyn, NY 11206
Contact: Kae Burke (585)217-7209

Good Co.
10 Hope Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
Contact Sean Aiken (718) 281-7191

• 6 Leonard St, apt J1
Btwn Conselyea and Metropolitan
Contact: Jennifer (917) 586-4153 Continue reading

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Newtown Creek Armada, Coastal Clean-up, Capital to Capital Canoe Expedition: What’s New at Newtown Creek?

There’s a whole sludge of events at Greenpoint’s very own Superfund site, Newtown Creek.

State of the Planet, a blog from the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is reporting that the city effort to clean up the polluted waterway is having an unintended effect.

According to a new study the clean up process is releasing sewage bacteria and other particles into the air above the site. The study is one of the first to establish a link between water pollution and air-quality, raising new questions about the health risks posed by dirty water.

Newtown Creek is already a source of combined sewage run-off, and could become even worse due to rising sea levels due from climate change. The New York Times ran an article highlighting the seriousness of the issue this Monday.

Don’t jump off the Pulaski Bridge just yet, Greenpointers. The news at Newtown Creek is not all bad. Here are just a few of the many upcoming community events looking to make the most of revitalizing our waterfront. Continue reading

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Hands On New York Day

This Saturday you can volunteer to help get McGolrick Park ready for summer.

East Hanover REI — Hands on New York Day
Date: 4/16/2011
Event Location: McGolrick Park
Event Fee: Free
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EDT)
Partner Organization: New York Cares
Group Size: 75

Description: Join REI, New York Cares and 5,000 volunteers to make New York City’s parks and gardens cleaner, greener, and ready for summer on Saturday, April 16. Hands On New York Day is an incredible day of service. Volunteers will rake and clean debris, plant, mulch, paint fences and benches, and more. It’s a great day out, and great way to make the Big Apple shine. REI will host a stewardship project in McGolrick park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

For more info and to register please visit the website here.

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