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Volunteers prepare sandwiches for the homeless

PARSIPPANY — Respect My Life Founder Jabari Jackson organized a group of individuals to prepare peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to be delivered to the homeless.

Jackson is a 2010 graduate of Parsippany High School.

Members of Parsippany Police Explorers, residents, members of Respect My Life and elected officials gathered at Parsippany PAL Youth Center and prepared over 1300 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to be delivered to three homeless centers: Saint John’s Soup Kitchen, Newark; Toni’s Soup Kitchen, Montclair and Eva’s Kitchen Village in Paterson.

The bread, peanut butter and jelly was all donated by members of the Parsippany Police Explorers, Respect My Life and ShopRite of Parsippany.

Toni’s Kitchen is a food ministry of St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair. They envision a community where everyone has reliable access to healthy food. Their mission is to provide food to neighbors in need in ways that improve health and independence. Their door is open and all are welcome.

Toni’s Kitchen was started in 1982 by parishioners at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church with the simple mission to “serve our neighbors in need.” Following the lead of a soup kitchen in nearby Paterson, people arriving for a hot meal were treated as guests and served restaurant style. The parishioners felt that this approach offered more dignity and respect than the traditional “stand in line” soup kitchen model. Toni’s Kitchen is located at 73 South Fullerton Avenue.

Saint John’s Soup Kitchen is famous not so much as an historic site as it is for its good works: over 6,000,000 breakfasts and dinners have been served to hungry people, free exhibits are held for struggling artists and the city’s school children, and thousands of toys and books are distributed to other churches and charitable institutions at Christmas.

St. John’s is supported by free-will donations. They do not receive government funds of any kind.

They are open Tuesday through Saturday for Breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Women and Children’s Center serving breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. St. John’s Soup Kitchen is located at 22 Mulberry Street.

Eva’s Kitchen was founded in 1982 to help feed the hungry. It is a safe and welcoming place closed off from the busy streets of Paterson. Eva’s Kitchen was founded in 1982 to help feed the hungry. To begin the feeding ministry, the first meal of hot dogs and beans was served in the basement of St. John’s Cathedral to 30 individuals. In the early 1990’s an expanded kitchen was built on Main Street with capacity for 240 people. To help feed the growing number of homeless and working poor, an expansion in 2011 increased the capacity to 400.

The Kitchen now serves a nutritious breakfast and lunch for up to 400 individuals, and is open 365 days a year. In addition to the meals served to guests in our Kitchen, daily meals are prepared for the 350 men, women and mothers with children who reside in our recovery and sheltering programs, amounting to 1,300 meals each day. Breakfast served from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., weekdays
and lunch at 12:00 p.m., seven days a week. Eva’s Kitchen is located 393 Main Street.

Jabari Jackson serves as a role model to what you believe in. Jackson said “Unnderstand I have consciously made the effort to understand that your life serves much meaning to this world. Our country is built on the value of justice regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, or occupation. We must subconsciously enlighten our neighbors and young people with the premise of respect. By generating a culture, it will allow people to bridge the gap. Understanding the power of voice, its essential to speak out against violence so that your life will not be cut short due to the act of senseless and selfish violence. The vision is to utilize the resources we have within our own communities to come together regardless of race and ethnicity and empower those less fortunate. We must come together to listen and be heard. You too have the power to be heard.”

For more information on Respect My Life, click here.

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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