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Five years ago, Jharel’s* parent took ill and required full-time care. Jharel had to leave his job to look after his parent, who was unable to be left alone. Experiencing an array of challenges, Jharel was fortunate to be introduced to Salem United Methodist Church Food Pantry—beneficiary of United Way of New York City’s FeedNYC program. Being able to receive food weekly, Jharel viewed the pantry as a blessing.  


“Receiving food from the pantry is such a tremendous help,” said Jharel. “And I enjoy getting things I would have never purchased myself. It is always a surprise and an unexpected treat to ry something new.” 


Sadly, Jharel’s parent passed away. While he was working to get back on track financially, he volunteers at Salem United Methodist Church Food Pantry, which has helped provide peac of mind, hunger relief, and healthy, nutritious food for his family. Every Friday, he helps unload the food delivery trucks, sorts and stocks the shelves, and serves nearly 200 guests receiving bags of groceries.  


“Being a part of something for the greater good. Being able to support others. I would never have fathomed how much gratification I receive from serving my neighbors,” said Jharel. “It’s more than just handing out food. It’s a desire to value them—to provide hope and self-worth.”  


Salem United Methodist Food Pantry has been a long-term partner with UWNYC’s FeedNYC program. They’ve received funding, food safety and nutrition workshops, and a grant to build a rooftop garden.  

*Names changed to protect identity.*  

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