The CHiPS soup kitchen

A-Day-in-the-Life-of-CHiPS-Soup-KitchenServes as many as 350 meals daily. We are staffed by a group of dedicated volunteers who come together to ensure hungry neighbors have a place to turn for delicious, healthy meals.

CHiPS offers a friendly environment and our volunteers are committed to making our guests feel at home. We know many of our guests by their names, favorite meals, and  birthdays. Guests are not asked to provide identification or to participate in religious activities; our kitchen serves the hungry regardless of immigration status or religious beliefs.

When it comes to food, CHiPS meals are some of the healthiest around.  Nearly 80 percent of the food we prepare is donated by the Park Slope Food Coop, which means it’s fresh and often organic. Restaurants nearby sometimes donate entire meals, so guests enjoy fresh-baked breads and even barbeque.

As a part of our menu program, volunteers are creative in making delicious meals from donated foods.  Certain volunteers specialize in making dishes that our guests have come to anticipate and love.  One volunteer excels in roasting turkeys; another brings in her own spices to make turkey soup from the leftovers; and third makes a yellow rice with her own secret recipe that reminds some guests of home.

CHiPS soup kitchen provides bagged lunches for guests to take with them in the afternoon.  These generally contain a sandwich, a piece of fruit, and a beverage.  This is dinner for many guests.  On Fridays, CHiPS distributes pantry bags of donated canned goods. These bags help tide the needy over the weekend.

In March, 2014, CHiPS began serving breakfast, as well. Now, guests can get hot coffee and bread in the morning between 9:00-11:00 am. It’s not much, but it’s enough to give them a nice start to the day.

Our Frances Residency Program

Chips-Ariels-storyWas founded by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and named after their founder Mother Frances Schervier. Thanks to this shelter at CHIPS, many mothers in need now have a better chance of making it through a difficult period in their lives. The program provides transitional homes for nine prenatal and postpartum homeless women and their infants. The women can stay up to twelve months while they are working toward self-reliance and the acquisition of permanent housing.

Program: The residency program helps mothers become self-sufficient through meetings with staff focusing on training in maternal/ child health, career development and ongoing life skills. The Frances Residency coordinates with neighborhood social service agencies to secure permanent affordable housing, and explore opportunities for employment.

Accommodation: The residence has nine safe, clean and well-maintained units with kitchen and bathroom facilities. In addition, the building houses a common meeting/ recreational room.

Referrals: Women are referred from neighborhood agencies. Referrals can be made by phone by calling (718) 855-8861. Women must meet the following criteria:

  • a single homeless mother in her last trimester of pregnancy.
  • a single homeless postpartum mother with her newborn (up to three weeks old)
  • Requirements: All residents must be at least 21 years of age, drug and alcohol free and able to live and work in harmony with staff and other residents. Each woman must agree to abide by the policies and rules of the Francis Residency program.

Funding: Donations, grants, and in-kind contributions comprise the largest support for the program. If an individual is working she must contribute a portion of her pay towards her shelter costs.