The Meatloaf Kitchen at University Community Social Services

at 137 E 2nd St, New York, 10009 United States

Founded in 1982 by two university professors who saw a great need among the many homeless people in their neighborhood. Together they started a temporary – or so they thought – soup kitchen open to anyone who needed sustenance.

The Meatloaf Kitchen at University Community Social Services
137 E 2nd St
New York , NY 10009
United States
Contact Phone
P: (917) 754-9878


But just serving a meal is often not enough. One of the benefits of being there for our guests each and every Saturday for over 25 years is that we are often the most dependable thing in their lives, lives usually filled with great uncertainty. We have worked hard to earn their trust, which allows us to provide other much-needed services: Volunteers overseen by a professional social worker assist our guests with advice and referrals for their housing, healthcare, employment, legal and other social service needs. The Kitchen also partners with other local community groups to provide direct services to our guests, including food stamp registration, vision screening and drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. Donated computers with Internet access donated by Nazareth Housing, a wonderful neighboring social service agency are available for use by our guests. Volunteers are on hand to help put together résumés, teach basic computer skills, look for jobs, and research available services. We operate a pantry for food staples. We distribute donated clothing.

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Our guests, so eager are they to help with our morning set-up. Chairs lined up into rows for the drop-in. Trash-liners placed in the trash pails. Setting up our cart-check area upstairs. We are so grateful. But yesterday, I stopped and stared. ... so sorry guest, that I did stare at you but you blew me away.... This guest, seemingly a stroke victim with an unsteady gait and a left arm curled upward in a fashion one sees in paralysis, determined to help despite being quite paralyzed on his left side. I saw him limp to a garbage pail with his silver cane as an assist and stowing his cane under his armpit, he grabbed the garbage pail as an ersatz cane, but not to use it for his own purposes. He was determined to place the garbage pail in the part of the room, where it "belonged." He used the garbage pail to balance himself, as step by painstaking step, he moved closer to the "proper place." He succeeded in three or four times the time it would take you or me. He surmounted the insurmountable. Stunned by the process, but more by the determination and desire to help despite the odds of falling, I turned to him and said, "Thank you!" But what I really wanted to say was, "You are an example for us all."

Published on 2014-08-10 14:56:38 GMT

Special thanks to our manager of the day and to all who helped with the recycling of the computers at the Lower East Side and Tekserve e-cycling program yesterday. We recycled three carloads of our obsolete electronic equipment! We are looking for laptops in good condition to upgrade our program.

Published on 2014-07-13 14:00:44 GMT

A whopping 42% of the HPNAP grant for fresh fruits and veggies in the 2013-2014 funding cycle! Go Veggie Kitchen! ... er ...uh ... Meatloaf!

Published on 2014-07-09 03:00:30 GMT

Yesterday our guests had big, bright smiles on their faces! Two dentists were responsible! One dentist, a long-time volunteer and financial supporter, made a generous monetary donation to the kitchen, while another dentist made an in-kind donation of hundreds of tubes of toothpaste. That's enough to make anyone smile!

Published on 2014-06-22 13:16:54 GMT

Thanks to the many guests and volunteers who attended this year's Volunteer Appreciation Night. The sharing was quite touching.

Published on 2014-05-11 05:11:34 GMT

"Happy Hour 2014" with the NY Cares folks at the 79th Street Boat Basin.

Published on 2014-05-09 02:41:15 GMT

Hello Meatloaf Men and Women, Save these dates! Easter egg dyeing: Friday, April 18 at 9 am. We need about 5 to 6 people to assist with coloring 30 dozen hard boiled eggs for our guests. Volunteer Appreciation Night: Friday, May 9 -- Time to be announced Major Fundraiser Mailing for The Meatloaf Kitchen: Saturday, May 17 at 3 pm. Dinner and drinks will be served.

Published on 2014-04-06 23:33:13 GMT

Spring cleaning is a yearly tradition for some folks and traditionally it is a time to go through our gently used clothing from winter and make that fateful decision, "should it stay or should it go now." which sounds awfully similar to the Clash's famous lyrics. If you can spare your gently used winter attire, our guests would welcome it, for winter will come again according to the calendar in December of 2014, (although with our climate that winter feel could even be November). You may or may not know this but clothing donations for this past winter were down to some 20% of normal. If you feel the need to part with your gently used winter items, you can drop them off at The Meatloaf Kitchen any Saturday this Spring or beyond. On behalf of our guests I thank you!

Published on 2014-04-06 14:23:00 GMT

Thank you David for returning once again this year to volunteer at The Meatloaf Kitchen. We are inspired by your recent novel, "The Opposite of Everything," and wish you the best with your play. Your courage continues to inspire all of us!

Published on 2014-03-30 23:19:48 GMT

Congratulations Allison on your acceptance into the doctoral program at Columbia!

Published on 2014-03-30 23:17:11 GMT

Congratulations Sylvia on your acceptance into the doctoral program at Columbia!

Published on 2014-03-30 23:15:09 GMT

Thank you John Belanger for your service at The Meatloaf Kitchen. Your managerial skills are outstanding. As you begin a new chapter in your life with your lovely fiancé, we wish you well. On behalf of our guests, I thank you

Published on 2014-03-30 23:14:02 GMT

This March marked the third highest number of people served at The Meatloaf Kitchen since records have been kept from January 2010. On behalf of our guests, I extend their sincere thanks to all the volunteers for your warmth and hospitality offered to 2,066 people in March 2014!

Published on 2014-03-30 14:01:11 GMT

With all the snow which had fallen this winter, the NYC Department of Sanitation enlisted part time workers to help dig out bus stops and fire hydrants around the city. It's nice to know that one of our guests helped dig our city out making it a bit easier for you and me. Read on .... This from Kenny Jackson ... Hi Joe, Just wanted to say thanks for sending an email last month regarding the sanitation dept looking for part time help. I forwarded your message to our guest J., a long time member, who took advantage and was able to get 4 days work out of it. Included in this email is his thank you later. I thought I'd share it with you as well. See you soon. K. ---------- Forwarded message ---------- (edited in part) From: J Date: Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 7:36 PM Subject: communication To: Kenny whats up kenny ! i did 4 days with sanitation dept, that was good looking out my friend. any insight u have i'll take it .... thanks buddy!

Published on 2014-03-12 23:59:03 GMT

A few weeks ago Keira Mayock, a volunteer at NYC Coalition Against Hunger, visited University Community Social Services and his is her blog.

Published on 2014-03-09 11:52:07 GMT

From one of our volunteers .... "The best part of my week is spending the morning at Meatloaf Kitchen. Preparing a hot meal for so many in need puts every petty concern of my own in perspective and reminds me of the kindness of others. There really are good people in the world...and they volunteer with me at Meatloaf Kitchen. Thanks for all that you do."

Published on 2014-02-23 14:42:22 GMT

Special thanks to one of our young volunteers for her successful coat drive efforts at her school. Yesterday we received a donation of 8 bags of coats! Thanks Emma!

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