Manhattan Breadline Serves Warmth for Holidays

HNP Communications Around the Province

NEW YORK — Guests of the St. Francis Breadline in Manhattan had a warm Christmas thanks to sweatshirts and winter woolens they received the day before Christmas Eve.

The hundreds of people who lined up on Dec. 23 outside St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street were given the usual breadline breakfast, as well as a bag of gifts, including a sweatshirt, hat, scarf, gloves, socks and toiletries.

Fifteen volunteers from St. Francis Cares (SFC) gathered Dec. 22 to assemble the gift bags. Maureen Hess, SFC director, who collected clothes for several weeks, said the group included a student from St. Vincent Ferrer High School in Manhattan.

01-07-09-breadline-lgNew sweatshirts were collected from generous parishioners and church visitors. Some were donated by schools, such as Pace University in Manhattan and Bishop Kearney High School in Brooklyn.

Since the gift-bag packing project required most of the day, volunteers were served breakfast and lunch. They worked from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hess said. The packing was done in the Francis Room, festively decorated by a member of the parish’s senior group, Irene Vendetti.

Items were also delivered by Michael Carnevale, OFM, to a homeless shower facility in Manhattan, Hess said. Michael directs the breadline, a ministry that has operated every day since it was established in 1929.