UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A new soup kitchen opened on the Upper East Side on New Year's Day to help feed the homeless and people struggling with food insecurity.
Bronx Parent Housing Network, a nonprofit organization, will serve lunch and dinner from its new Loving Arms Soup Kitchen on First Avenue between East 85th and 86th streets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, a spokesperson for the nonprofit told Patch. Lunch service will be held between 12 and 2 p.m. and dinner will be served between 4 and 6 p.m., according to the spokesperson.
Funding for the new soup kitchen was donated anonymously, the nonprofit said. Bronx Parent Housing Network's President and CEO Victor Rivera — who experienced homelessness in his youth — said that federal cuts to food stamps programs will force many New York City residents into food insecurity.
"Wall Street might be breaking records, but there are hungry people in New York, and the situation is threatening to get even worse," Rivera said in a statement. "With changes to the food stamp program coming, our network is hearing about food pantries running out of resources throughout the city as thousands more families prepare to face food insecurity."
Meals served at the Upper East Side soup kitchen will be catered by Bronx restaurant Havana Express. Shelter staff expect about 200 meals will be served during lunch and dinner on each day that the facility is open.
Locals may be surprised that a soup kitchen is opening on the Upper East Side — generally considered one of Manhattan's more affluent neighborhoods — but food insecurity can afflict people in any area, City Councilmember Ben Kallos said.
"No community, including the Upper East Side, is immune to the sad reality of families facing hunger during this holiday season," Kallos said in a statement. "As a City, we must prepare for looming federal cuts to SNAP benefits and bolster outreach to the homeless whenever and wherever possible."
People interested in volunteering at the new soup kitchen can reach out to Bronx Parent Housing Network by emailing