For the last few years, the community ministry at St Bart’s has augmented their regular activities (running the soup kitchen, homeless shelter and food pantry) with a gala dinner held on the day after Thanksgiving. Entitled Fare Share Friday, this event sees the church transformed into a banqueting hall, with a turkey dinner catered by some of the grand midtown hotels.
The really amazing part is that whilst half the diners pay over $100 to attend, the remainder of the tickets are given out gratis to guests of the soup kitchen and pantry. Everyone is seated together around mixed tables, and it becomes a truly wonderful combination of Park Avenue prosperity and privation.
This year we decided to sign up when the call went out for volunteers, and we spent an enjoyable afternoon helping to set tables, escorting guests to their seats, serving food, and clearing up afterwards. This all brought back a lot of memories for me (my first job was in a restaurant), but unbelievably it was Tom’s first experience as a waiter – he did well!