Community Stories - CHiPS
We recently had a brief chat with Community Help in Park Slope, Inc. (CHiPS)’s Executive Assistant, Andi Hinnenkamp. CHiPS, located in Brooklyn, New York, has been a partner in our nonprofit recipient community for more than a year and we wanted to hear about how food donations impact their community.
A Little About Andi
She has been working at CHiPS for 2 years. In college, she volunteered with homeless shelters and soup kitchens and really enjoyed it. When she moved to New York, she wanted to continue that work and stumbled upon CHiPS - an organization she described as “very grassroots and community based.”
Can you tell me what CHiPS does?
CHiPS is a soup kitchen and homeless residence. We serve 350 meals a day from our soup kitchen Monday to Saturday, for anyone who comes there. No need for ID or benefits card. Anyone who’s hungry can come and get a meal. We’re also a residence for young women and babies. The top 2 floors of the building houses up to 7 women and babies.
Why are food donations important at your organization?
They are definitely a huge part of our organization! We run off donations as far as food goes and get a lot donated from food banks. A lot of donations come from restaurants or events, including Replate. We can really can use donations to make big impact on the people we serve. They love the food and love that we make it everyday. They care about what we are serving and that it’s healthy. CHiPS might not be able to exist without food donations. It’s integral to how we operate.
Do you have any stories about how food supports the people in your community?
We serve chicken every Friday. One guy comes in and his favorite meal is chicken. He comes every Friday. He’s always so excited and loves CHiPS. He has good relationship with staff and staff love to see him too!
Another guy came in for food regularly. We have a barber come in sometimes and this time, [the barber] cut the guy’s hair after he ate. Someone asked if he wanted his photo taken and sent to somebody. He wanted it sent to his father and hadn’t talked to his father in years.
It’s just food we’re giving to people but we are also able to build relationships. We are able to help them in bigger ways than we realize. It seems so little to bring people food but it can make a big impact.