Soul Food Truck FAQ

December 12, 2013

Q: What is it?
A: Two Middle Church members, Renee Boyd and Kelebohile Nkhereanye, own a fully operational food truck, which they have offered to Middle Church in service to feed the hungry in our neighborhood through the cold winter months. Because the Butterfly Feeding Ministry is on its winter hiatus, Middle Church is thrilled to have this new opportunity to continue feeding the hungry and spreading God's warmth in a season of need. The amount of food prepared each week should feed an estimated 120 people in Tompkins Square Park (in addition to Chat & Chew). Food preparation will be supervised by the team of Chef Nyna Sargent with support from Renee Boyd.

Q: When is it?
A: REGULAR HOURS: EVERY SUNDAY, December 15, 2013-April 13, 2014, serving meals from approximately 1:00 pm until all food has been distributed (estimated serving time: 1 hour).
LAUNCH: On Sunday, December 15, 2013, the Middle Church "Soul" Food Truck will launch its mission. Directly following the morning worship celebration, the congregation will walk together to the truck's serving location (approximately 12:30 pm). Senior Minister Jacqui Lewis will deliver a blessing, and all congregants will be served brunch, to share a meal with our neighbors in the park and to stimulate interest and encourage ongoing participation in this ministry. On December 15, afternoon programming scheduled for 1:00 pm will be delayed until 1:30 pm to allow time to attend the blessing.

Q: Where is it?
A: The "Soul" Food Truck will be parked at Tompkins Square Park on East 7th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B. Our parking permit will allow us to park in that location every Sunday.

Q: What happens to Chat & Chew, our Middle Church Sunday brunch?
A: Chat & Chew will remain much the same, except that instead of the bagged lunch that we're accustomed to, volunteers will serve congregants the same meal being served at the food truck. Chat & Chew will still take place after worship each Sunday at approximately 12:30 pm in our Sunday annex space-the back room of the Ukrainian Restaurant at 140 Second Avenue.

Q: What can volunteers do to help?
A: Volunteers are always welcome and encouraged to take part in this ministry, either preparing food in the truck or setting up Chat & Chew at the Ukrainian Restaurant before worship, or serving at Chat & Chew or in Tompkins Square Park after worship. ALL volunteers should report to their locations of service on time and are asked to help clean up at their locations when food service is complete. All materials to do each task, including cleanup supplies, will be provided.

The following volunteers are needed every week:

Food Preparers/Sous Chefs 
Location: "Soul" Food Truck on Second Avenue in front of Sanctuary
Time: 8:00-11:00 AM
1-2 volunteers weekly. Volunteers will help with food preparation, organization to expedite the meal, and Chat & Chew location preparations. Previous kitchen experience is preferred.

Location: "Soul" Food Truck at Tompkins Square Park
Time: 12:15-2:00 PM
2 or more volunteers weekly. Volunteers will distribute plastic utensils and meals to those seeking food. These volunteers will communicate to chefs inside the truck the number of servings needed at any given time, and will also help manage the crowd, encourage line formation, and so forth.

Location: "Soul" Food Truck at Tompkins Square Park
Time: 12:15-2:00 PM
2-3 volunteers weekly. Volunteers will spread the word about the meal, inviting passersby and others in or near the park to visit the food truck. They will walk into the park and distribute flyers about the meal and Middle Church as needed. These volunteers will also help manage crowds at the truck if necessary.

Location: Chat & Chew at Ukrainian Restaurant, 140 Second Avenue
Time: 12:30-2:30 PM
2 volunteers weekly. Volunteers will serve portions of the daily meal to congregants gathered for Chat & Chew in the back room at the restaurant. These volunteers will serve ONLY one portion to each individual, as leftovers will be donated to local shelters.

Q: How can I volunteer?
A: To volunteer with the "Soul" Food Truck feeding ministry, email Rev. Tricia Sheffield at or ministry coordinator Rachel Hippert at for more information and scheduling details. We'd love to have you join us!

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