Part of the legacy of the late Joe Madori, the Poor People’s Dinner remains a November tradition

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — One of the legacy of banker and humanitarian Joe Madori remains a November tradition, now started 26 years ago — the Poor People’s Dinner. Over a simple meal of soup and bread, attendees connect to understand the plight of the poor and champion their cause.

The dinner is scheduled for Monday, November 20 at 6pm at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield. Funds raised go to the pantries and soup kitchens of the Beach to Beach Hospitality Project. Tickets and sponsorships are available through Josh Keller 718-448-1544 or Individual tickets are $75, seniors $50, students $40 –

The event is chaired by Donald Reilly with guest speaker Jacqueline Stoll, Executive Director of The Hospitality Project.

Stoll is a Staten Island native and anti-hunger advocate. Stoll, who graduated from St. John’s Villa and Blessed Sacrament, to Project Hospitality more than a decade ago during the agency’s extensive post-SuperStorm Sandy relief effort.

Refueling support

“She has been a leader in implementing long-term solutions to homelessness, most recently overseeing the creation of Castleton Housing that provides affordable, supportive apartments to people who might otherwise be left out in the cold,” according to the Hospitality Project.

Poor People’s Dinner organizers encourage Staten Islanders of all faiths and backgrounds to “come together as a community to share a bowl of soup and bread, raise money, and donate food to stock the Hospitality Project’s pantries.”

The event will also mark the culmination of extensive food drives held at schools and organizations throughout the borough. Project Hospitality asks Poor Dinner guests to bring potatoes, apples, onions, non-perishable foods such as pasta and rice, canned fruits and vegetables.

The struggling middle class

Project Hospitality serves more than 4 million meals each year through the new Stapleton Food Pantry on Canal Street, a network of mobile pantries that travel to neighborhoods across the borough and an ongoing series of housing and social service programs.

According to a study by Food Bank NYC, more than one in three New York City families lack the means to become self-sufficient, with covering the basic needs of one parent and two children on Staten Island requiring nearly $5,900 per month.

More than 13% of Staten Island residents struggle to afford food and rent. Often these are people who hold one or two jobs. Nearly half of New Yorkers living in hunger are working, according to Hunger Free America. Since 2000, the cost of living has risen 113% on average across neighborhoods, the food bank found.

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