Homelessness has been linked to employment issues, lower self-esteem, mental health issues, and more. Therefore, it is important for everyone to step up and do what they can to help those in need.
This is where Alexander Rapaport, one of the founders of Masbia, seeks to make his mark. He has always been interested in giving back to the local New York area and takes a lot of pride in what his home stands for. He felt that starting a charity to help out those in need was one of the best ways to do exactly that.
Masbia started as a grassroots charity that was established to feed the hungry. Rapaport initially had a simple vision. He and his co-founder, Mordechai Mandelbaum, wanted to establish a clean, attractive environment where people could come and eat meals for free. Masbia targeted men, women, and children who might not have any place to go.
Eventually, Masbia opened its doors for the first time. When Masbia opened its doors in 2005, it was the only kosher soup kitchen in Brooklyn. Furthermore, it had opened its doors to the public.
Of course, running a charity does not come without its challenges. Even though Masbia distributes meals for free, the charity still has to pay to keep the lights on, pay for the ingredients, and cover the cost of the property. This is where the expertise of the founders is invaluable. They were able to find ways to save money on their overhead costs, allowing them to continue to provide kosher meals to those in need. That expertise has allowed Masbia to grow into the success that it is today.
Now, Masbia has been open for more than a decade. With millions of meals served, tens and thousands of people have been able to go to bed comfortable, well-fed, and content. Many of these people are children and elderly individuals who might not have had any other place to go. In this manner, Masbia has been one of the leaders in the fight to end hunger. Now, Masbia has its sights set on expanding its operations.
In 2009, Rapaport realized that he and Masbia could do more to help the local community. Therefore, Masbia opened three new sites. In addition to the original location in Boro Park, Masbia opened a kitchen in Flatbush, Williamsburg, and Rego Park (in Queens.) Furthermore, Rapaport used his expertise to get two other exciting initiatives off the ground. Now, Masbia has a strong network with farmers in the local NY area.
Masbia has also partnered with CSA programs. This allows Masbia to provide fresh, local produce they can use in their meals, supporting local farmers while also saving money. Now, all of the Masbia soup kitchens have a take-home program that allows participants to take home, nutritious, properly-portioned food packages on a weekly basis.
It is this kind of expertise and innovation that has allowed Masbia to grow into the success that it is today. Masbia has seen 20 percent growth year over year, distributing more than 2 million meals annually to those in need. What started as a small soup kitchen in Brooklyn has grown into a massive project with tremendous scope and range. Through this growth, Masbia has stayed true to its initial vision to provide hot, nutritious meals to those in need for free. It will be exciting to see what Alexander Rapaport and Masbia come up with next for the local NYC community.
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