Served with a smile: Bay Ridge non-profit feeds over 120 neighbors on Thanksgiving

One Bay Ridge organization has proved itself to be the gift that keeps on giving.

For the third year in a row, local non-profit Bay Ridge Cares distributed over 100 Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

“The outpouring of support from the community this year was nothing short of tremendous,” said Vice President and Founder of Bay Ridge Cares Justin Brannan who, on Thursday, November 24, joined a record-setting number of volunteers in preparing and delivering dinners to those who needed it most.

“We had over 70 volunteers who came together either to bake homemade desserts, deliver meals or serve dinner to our friends at Shore Hill on Thanksgiving Day,” Brannan told this paper. “We were also able to deliver a ton of good food to the Salt and Sea Mission in Coney Island. All told, we dispensed around 120 warm smiles and hot meals to those in need.”


Photos courtesy of Justin Brannan
Photos courtesy of Justin Brannan


A great deal of the food delivered to the Bay Ridge housing facility was prepared by Tommy Stramka of Mejlander & Mulgannon Caterers, while a hefty serving of those delivered to Coney Island included donations from Bay Ridge restaurant CEBU.

The annual act of giving – which began in 2014 and has only grown each year — is especially important to many members of Bay Ridge Cares.

“Over the past few days, thank you notes have been pouring in from folks who received a meal on Thanksgiving, and they are all so grateful that a stranger took time out of their Thanksgiving Day to make their day brighter,” said Karen Tadross, the organization’s current president. “Each was thankful for a delicious meal and thrilled to receive dessert as part of the package.”

This year’s turnout, Brannan said, is particularly telling of the ‘hood the group belongs to.

“I have always said Bay Ridge comes together like no other place on earth. This year on Thanksgiving Day, we proved what that looks like,” he said. “It was very inspiring and we hope it’ll be even bigger next year.”

Photos courtesy of Justin Brannan
Photos courtesy of Justin Brannan

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