As part of our continuing effort to provide food assistance to people in our area in need, Toni’s Kitchen has started a food program for local day laborers. The program provides laborers with healthy staples like rice, beans, and tuna each week. Also included, thanks to a grant from the Partners For Health Foundation, is a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Day laborers are a particularly vulnerable group within our community. They are usually recent immigrants, often are victims of crime due to their known fear of calling the police, and have uneven earnings. “Food outreach is especially important in the high-risk immigrant community,” indicates Anne Mernin, Director of Outreach. “Predictable access to high quality nutrition improves stability and resilience for these families as well as underlying family health. It is a relatively low-cost intervention given its high value and lasting benefits.”
The bags of food are packed at Toni’s Kitchen and volunteers Paola Clutterbuck and Eli Wright deliver the food each week. Eli and Paola always return from their trip energized by the joy and appreciation expressed by the day laborers. “They are open about their needs, provide very helpful feedback on what food is most helpful and have even offered to volunteer with Toni’s Kitchen to help our mission,” reports Eli after one of his weekly runs.
Toni’s Kitchen’s Day Laborer Program reflects its mission to provide “food to our neighbors in need in ways that respect their dignity, improve health and foster independence.”