Spring community service project brings Latino Judges Association to Bed-Stuy food pantry

May 24, 2024 Special to IN PUBLIC SERVICE
Hon. Connie Mallafre, Hon. Edwin Novillo, his daughter Kayla Novillo.
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GREENE AVENUE — The Latino Judges Association (LJA) held its spring community service project earlier this month, led by Chair Honorable Connie Mallafre. Participants included LJA Director Edwin Novillo, his daughter Kayla Novillo and LJA members, including Hon. Jessica Bourbon, Hon. Angela Badamo, Hon. Joanne Quinones, and Hon. Javier Ortiz.

The group spent a portion of their morning distributing food products to community members who lined up as early as 6 a.m. for a program that started at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers and pallets of food items were positioned on the sidewalk alongside buildings and the curb. This facilitated the distribution of meats, breads, breakfast foods, canned goods, grains, pasta and fresh produce.

The line of people waiting for food streamed up the city block and around the corner. For some time, from the perspective of the volunteers, there was no visible end to the line. The community members were as diverse as the city of New York.

The enormity of the program’s impact on the community revealed itself as the many participants smiled and whispered their thanks to the volunteers, with the goodwill of both volunteers and recipients shining through the heartwarming exchange of smiles.

The LJA volunteers were uplifted by the reception at this well-established sidewalk food pantry, which opens every Saturday morning, rain or shine. The host of the pantry, Open Door Church of God in Christ, is led by Pastor Taylor. Hon. Lourdes Ventura of the Appellate Division, Second Department, who serves as president of LJA, thanked the Church and Pastor Taylor for the opportunity of this rewarding volunteer community service project.

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