For 50 years, Covenant House New York (CHNY) has been a place of help and hope, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for young people experiencing homelessness and survivors of human trafficking.
“What has kept our doors open for 50 years is the young people we are so blessed to walk with on their journeys,” said Renata Alexis, Senior Director of Shelter at CHNY. “No matter what, the fact we needed to stay open never changed. The young people, their hope and their promise, is the reason we are all here.”
Recently three of our New York City partners donated a special meal to help commemorate 50 years since the doors of CHNY first opened. Approximately 400 staff and young people from Covenant House New York attended the event both in-person at the main Crisis Shelter location and virtually. Virtual guests were youth and essential workers from our Bronx sites. Meals were sent there from SL Green Food1st. The Crisis Shelter event was sponsored by Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine and Relish Catering and was held at Covenant House in New York City.
“It is only through this type of community support that Covenant House New York and our young people can thrive,” said Renata. “Throughout our 50 years, and especially most recently during the pandemic, so many individuals, small businesses, and local corporations and foundations have stepped up and stood with our young people. It is so inspiring and we are so grateful to our partners at Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine, Relish Catering, and SL Green’s Food1st Foundation for making this special event possible.”
The New York team was excited to team up with Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine for the first time. Despite being new, it was wonderful to see their immediate commitment to CHNY’s young people and staff. Sophie’s Cuban owners had reached out looking for a way to help and this event offered a perfect opportunity.
“For Sophie’s Cuban, it’s an opportunity to help put into perspective the many issues our city of NY has been faced with before, during, and after Covid-19,” said Sofia Luna, founder and CEO of Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine. “It’s an honor to partner with such an amazing organization as Covenant House to help cater for this special celebration. They have done so much over the past 50 years that it’s more than our pleasure to help them give back to our community. Stay strong NY!"
Relish Catering has stepped up for the CHNY community time and time again, including during the holidays. In addition to helping with special events with catering needs, Relish now donates once per month to all of Covenant House New York’s transitional housing programs in the Bronx.
“We had the privilege of being introduced to a few key members of Covenant House just before the start of the pandemic,” said Charles Grund, VP of Operations at Relish Catering + Hospitality. “Understanding the profound effects Covenant House has on the local communities, specifically young people, it was easy to find a way to give back. It has been an honor to lend a helping hand and we look forward to a continuing our partnership with CHNY as they continue their efforts in finding solutions for our local young people.”
Food1st has stepped up when CHNY sites needed it most, delivering meals to our sites in the Bronx as well as our beautiful new purpose-built facility in Manhattan.
“The Food1st Foundation has been thrilled to partner with Covenant House to donate almost 4,000 free and healthy meals during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said Jelena Kero, Hospitality Manager at SL Green. “It is an honor to contribute to the organization’s exciting 50-year anniversary by delivering nutritious meals to over six locations on this momentous day. We recognize how important it is to the city’s lifeline to ensure CHNY can flourish for many years to come and we look forward to seeing their good work continue to expand by helping them feed the community members who need it the most!”
These donors went above and beyond to ensure this meal felt different from the food service Covenant House New York offers 365 days per year. The fare included special details from strawberry mint lemonade, to several entree options, and plenty of food for seconds!
“What a special day and a special way to honor our amazing staff here at Covenant House New York,” said Acting Executive Director Deirdre Cronin. “We have some people here today who just joined us two weeks ago, and others who have been in service for decades. What we all have in common is the joy we have as a community working with the amazing, resilient young people at Covenant House.”