Masbia Soup Kitchen in Borough Park rescues scraps from farmers markets to feed food insecure

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ByLucy Yang via WABC logo
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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Every week, from Monday to Thursday chef Ruben Diaz cooks healthy, tasty kosher meals at Masbia Soup Kitchen in Borough Park.

BOROUGH PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Every week, from Monday to Thursday chef Ruben Diaz cooks healthy, tasty kosher meals at Masbia Soup Kitchen in Borough Park.

Organic zucchini and other greens donated from the Union Square Farmer's Market are being roasted for those who are food insecure.

"Now it's very expensive in restaurants," chef Ruben Diaz said. "So we can give here high quality food."

Every week, from Monday to Thursday chef Ruben Diaz cooks healthy, tasty kosher meals with whatever they have that day.

"We don't know what we're going to get the next day," Diaz said. "So we have to be very creative to create a meal."

Masbia operates as a soup kitchen and food pantry offering kosher meals and groceries for the community.

During COVID, when lines were hundreds deep and social distancing a must, they switched to digital appointments so crowds didn't form.

Peter, an engineer, started coming here when he and his wife lost their jobs during the shutdown.

He is working again, but now grocery bills have shot up about 10%.

So he comes every few months for a little help.

"I don't have words to express my appreciation," Peter said. I'm grateful."

Each client is given a little bit of everything on the table most of which is donated, some purchased, but all offered for free.

"This is food rescue where company overproduced tuna sandwiches," Diaz said showing off some of the stock for the day. "This is leftover from school lunch program."

Alexander Rapaport is the Executive Director at Masiba and says the increase in grocery prices is putting a strain on everyone.

"We all feel it when we go shopping but especially people who go pay check to pay check," Rapaport said. "Limited budget, they feel it right away."

Masiba runs three different locations and serves about 450 meals every night.

"I come here almost every day to eat," Philip Dolinksy said. "It's a really nice place. I'm poor. Don't have money to buy food."

A major problem facing many who come to Masbia is the government food surpluses being down and inflation continuing to go up.

But at Masbia they hope to close that gap, one farmer's market rescue at a time.

"We don't waste," Rapaport said. "We do a lot of food rescue all the time."

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